Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
The Making Of The West Wing
Subscribe To Empire Today
Save money and get 12 issues for only £25
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Kristen Wiig
Steve Carell
Russell Brand
Ken Jeong
Steve Coogan
Benjamin Bratt.
Chris Renaud
Pierre Coffin.
Ken Daurio
Cinco Paul.
Running Time
98 minutes

Overnighters, The
4 Star Empire Rating
3 Star Empire Rating
Way He Looks, The
4 Star Empire Rating
2 Star Empire Rating
Book Of Life, The
3 Star Empire Rating

Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Despicable Me 2
Gru wants to be a minionaire

submit to reddit

Former supervillain Gru (Carell) is now concentrating on being a full-time dad to the three orphans he has adopted, but he’s called into action by Agent Lucy Wilde (Wiig) and the Anti-Villain League to investigate the theft of a top-secret lab.

Despicable Me 2
Browse more images »

It’s all very well renouncing the villainy business and recasting yourself as a devoted father of three girls, but what next? That’s the dilemma facing Steve Carell’s Gru as we rejoin him here, adjusting to a world of children’s parties and soccer moms while trying to retool his evil empire towards the production of jams and jellies. It’s clearly a relief when he’s called back into action by Steve Coogan’s Silas Ramsbottom and something called the Anti-Villain League to investigate the theft of an entire lab and its monster-creating serum.

Of course, that plot is barely the skeleton of this shaggy-dog story, which sags in the middle before racing towards an entertaining conclusion. Gru also has to cope (badly) as one daughter wishes he’d find her a mother and another takes her first teetering steps into the dating arena. There’s a generally baffling segment where Gru is sent undercover in a mall to try to figure out which shop owner has the stolen goods — a proposition that barely even makes sense by kids’ videogame standards — but the best moments see the tragically insecure Gru finally take a risk with Kristen Wiig’s winsome Agent Wilde, a highly competent and enthusiastic member of the AVL.

Then, of course, there are the Minions, the yellow happy pills who reliably reduce child cinemagoers to puddles of giggles. The biggest laughs of the film, at least beyond Carell’s outrageous accent, come from the Minions’ looney-tunes, strangely benign mutual violence. Their role has been beefed up ahead of their own spin-off movie coming next; by comparison, the villain of the piece barely gets a look-in, and two of Gru’s daughters are affectionately neglected. His assistants’ dominance is a little unfair to Gru himself — he’s a good enough character that a more focused script and stronger story might make him an icon in his own right — but it’s hard to quibble with the likable distractions that surround him.

It falters in the middle and hesitates unnecessarily in setting up the love story, but Gru still has charm and kids will adore the Minions.

Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Despicable Me 2
Empire Star Rating

RE: Despicable Me 2

Thought this one was gonna be crappy movie. But hey, it is really enjoyable and funny at times. ... More

Posted by m_er at 10:09, 19 January 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Despicable Me 2

Doesn't belong in the top ranks of animated fare but, like its predecessor, it contains enough humor, charm, and warmth to make it a solid family film. ... More

Posted by chang at 12:27, 31 December 2013 | Report This Post

No way O'Hara, This is 4 stars! Not a 5 star masterpiece. But a really good 4 Star movie! Why? Because the charecter's are more developed, It's twice as funny, and it is as charmful as ever. But somehow, It cant match the predecessor. But still, its a better-than-average sequel, like Shrek 2. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Darren47 at 12:50, 22 December 2013 | Report This Post

Stupid and boring

Took my 6 year old nephew to see this today, he asked if we could leave halfway thru as he was bored. I gladly agreed. Didn't see the first one so don't know if that was any good. I've seen great kid's movies (they are rarer and rarer) so I know good from bad. This was pathetic. Not even the minions saved it, they just looked like little yellow pricks. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jonny24 at 20:15, 01 August 2013 | Report This Post

RE: loved it!

Kid’s films spawn sequels more than horror movies do these days, though this writer was a bit apprehensive when a sequel was announced to the best animated film of 2010. Well have no fear, it’s actually a very worthy follow-up. Like many of the best sequels, it manages to be both a different story and a continuation of the original, and gets the perfect balance between giving the audience more of the same and giving them something new. With Gru now no longer a villain, it doesn’t have many of t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 21:29, 17 July 2013 | Report This Post

loved it!

And it didn't even bother to see the first one, erm, first. Loved the Minions (obviously) but i also thought that there were plenty of other laughs elsewhere. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 01:16, 17 July 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Could have done without this one

Nice spoiler ... More

Posted by dolfinack at 22:47, 11 July 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Could have done without this one

I went to see this today because my sister was going with my nieces. So i tagged along. It was mildly amusing in places, but never really laugh out loud funny. The plot was a bit muddled. I thought it might be an interesting mystery about who the super villain was. but nope! just turns out to be the guy he said used to be a super villain near the start. The kids enjoyed themselves. and were laughing throughout. ... More

Posted by target at 21:47, 06 July 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Could have done without this one

It was ok, is really the best I can say. Nowhere near as good as the first film, with fewer laughs and a pretty boring story line. 2.5/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ref at 23:31, 04 July 2013 | Report This Post

Could have done without this one

We loved the first one. I think it was well balanced and worked very well, for all ages (Pixar nut here). This one is a bit of a frantic mess, not as funny, loses most of the charm of the first.....and is, for the large part rather lazily aimed squarely at the little ones. It probably didn't help the fact we had a group of little ones in the cinema laughing hysterically at nearly every scene (I think it was a competition). It's a shame really. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The kUrGaN at 12:16, 04 July 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Despicable Me 2

The minions are insanely funny. But the overal movie really isn't that good. A tiny little story where everything is cliché. They tried the spy movie parody, but it doesn't really work. There are some laughs, but this movie is for kids only. It's just too simplistic, like a TV cartoon. Far from the DreamWorks/Pixar level. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dseys at 15:22, 27 June 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Despicable Me 2

Some great visual sketches, but I think it's missing the spark that made its predecessor such a great film. The audience laughed throughout, but not as much as Universal and Illumination Entertainment's accountancy departments, I suspect. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 20:08, 25 June 2013 | Report This Post

Very disappointing

One quick way of summing up the immense difference in quality between 2010′s Despicable Me and it’s sequel is the fact that Julie Andrews, one of the greatest living actresses and singers, has not reprised her role as Gru’s mother this time around. In no way does that imply that she was not happy with the film, but the fact that Al Pacino also dropped out says something about what the producers and directors have done wrong this time around. The first film is, in my opinion, on... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by luccewada at 19:35, 25 June 2013 | Report This Post

You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list

The Empire Podcast: David Ayer Talks Fury
Plus Steve Carell talks Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Reaction
We dive under the hood of Whedon's sequel teaser

10 Of The Most Impressive In-Universe Movie Tie-In Websites
From Blair Witch to Days Of Future Past, expand your cinematic horizons online

The 12 Apps Every Film Fan Needs On Their Smartphone
The handheld essentials to enhance your movie life

Empire Meets Jason Bateman And Tina Fey
The stars of This Is Where I Leave You hang out

The Scariest Film Of The Year? Jennifer Kent On The Babadook
The director talks us through her terrifying new film

10 Horror Spin-Offs We Want To See
After Annabelle, what other supporting characters deserve their own film?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)