by Chrysa Smith

Let me begin by saying that I’m one of the few who never saw the first ‘Despicable’ movie. It’s not that I opposed it in any way, it just seems to be that many animated movies don’t cut it for me after seeing the Shrek and Madagascar films. With a quirky sense of humor, I just love when a kids movie hits on two levels: one that’s funny for kids, and the other that flies way over their heads. And DM2 didn’t disappoint on either count.

Gru (Steve Carrell’s hysterically-accented voice), is the lovable villain who’s bigger than life and not too pretty. But how can you argue with a villain turned jelly-maker that loves his three adopted, adorably-animated girls? As the story opens, you can’t help but love the man who’s so sweet with his daughters, that he dresses up like a fairy princess in order not to disappoint? But not too long into the plot, the previous villain is faced with a decision—to have his minions (those adorable yellow creatures that make up Gru’s posse) continue to make some horrible-tasting jelly (Gru’s post-villain career path) or pursue another direction.

Gru is recruited by the AVL–Anti Villain League, to find the latest villain who has a formula intended to produce unfathomable killing creatures who will destroy the world. Gru is desperately trying to stay out of his former life, but his former ‘evil’ doctor, also turned jelly-maker, decides to go back to his evil ways. Gru decides he will take up the AVL’s offer, from his forthcoming love-interest (played by Kristen Wiig), and the adventures begin.

The duo stakes out a shopping mall where the AVL has found trace amounts of the disastrous chemical compound. The ‘whodunit’ plot comes to life, as they hide under their cover as mall cupcake bakers. Is it the salsa man? Is it the hair club? There is some suspense, and certainly laughable moments as the fumbling Gru and his minions take on the mad detective role.

The end is predictable—-Gru gets the girl, the evil is thwarted and the minions are saved from some scary moments. But the giggles are heartily worth it. The time flew by without checking out the watch or wondering where on earth the whole thing is going. And it was delightful to regress a bit into a child’s world and spend an afternoon being well entertained.

In the end, maybe Gru is much like us—-trying to be our best, but sometimes tempted to go astray. The outcome is what counts, and we learn that despite it all, even the despicable can be turned around.

See it if you can.