Two of the most memorable features of the animated comedy Despicable Me were Agnes and the minions. The former is the youngest of three sisters, with a fountain ponytail and eyes bigger than the rest of her tiny body. The latter are members of super-villain Gru’s workforce, who resemble packing peanuts and wear denim overalls over their capsule-shaped bodies. Agnes communicates in totspeak and the minions in the kind of high-pitched nonsensical gurgles that demand to be described by no other adjective than cute. So it’s hardly surprising that Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin, the directors behind the 2010 movie, have allotted Agnes and the minions a fat slice of the candy-coloured pie in the sequel.
Despicable Me 2 , a creation of the Illumination Entertainment studio, adds new characters to the mix, but the credo stays the same—to have fun at any cost without wasting a second on contemplation or silence. The 95-minute movie is as colourful as a candy store and as hectic as any child who might have eaten too much of the sweet stuff. The gorgeously detailed sequel even has a 3D version to further enhance the feeling of being on a runaway roller-coaster ride while simultaneously shovelling sackfuls of sugar into your mouth.
In Despicable Me, Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) adopts Agnes and her sisters to earn respectability while all along plotting to steal the moon. Of course, Gru falls for the charms of the orphans—only the titanium-hearted can resist them—and in the sequel, he is a caring daddy who has set aside his villainy in favour of making jelly and jam. He forgoes his retirement plans after Anti Villain League agent Lucy (voiced by Kristen Wiig) persuades him to help her nail baddie El Macho (voiced by Benjamin Bratt), who is planning to destroy the world with a potion that transforms cuddly animals into vampire-toothed zombies.
Whatever. This isn’t a Pixar production, so there are no moral lessons hiding beneath the rampaging cuteness, no adult anxieties masquerading as a child’s feelings, no moment of revelation leading to a pre-climactic wise speech from a Yoda-like character.
The film-makers trade posterity for instant thrills and the minions dictate the mood and attitude of the franchise. One comic sketch follows another, some ordinary (Gru on a date, Margo in love) and others hilarious (anything involving the minions). Agnes pops up from time to time to keep the awwww meter ticking loud and hard. The minions are going to get their own movie, called The Minions for the sake of simplicity and ticket sales, in 2014. Perhaps it’s time to give Agnes her own franchise too.