Despite coming out the same year as another movie with more or less exactly the same plot (Megamind), 2010's Despicable Me felt like a breath of fresh air in a family-friendly CGI film landscape dominated by sassy animals and talking cars.
The sequel can't quite replicate that sense of discovery but should satisfy the young target audience. Reformed supervillain Gru (voiced in a broad European accent by comedy superstar Steve Carell) has settled into his life as the adoptive father of the three little girls from the first movie when a British organisation known as the Anti-Villain League sends a female agent (Kristen Wiig, who voiced a different character in the first film) to recruit him.
The AVL want Gru to help them track down a chemical that is turning everyday items and people into indestructible killing machines. After initially resisting, Gru eventually accepts the assignment, which involves going undercover in a mall. Despite the mild lack of ambition in the plot (a mall - really?), Despicable Me 2 sustains a sense of brightly coloured whimsy throughout. The aesthetic of the film still feels unique and the voice talents are all on form.
Running time: 98 mins.