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Though we do not usually go to see the latest “family movie” on opening weekends, I did take my wife and children to see “Despicable Me 2.”


I had the disadvantage of having not seen the first movie, so I had no emotional attachment or background information on any of the characters. My children filled me in on the basic plot, and it’s not complicated material here. In fact, according to the movie’s own promotional material, the plot of “Despicable Me 2” can be summarized in one sentence: “Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal.”


Positive Elements

“Gru” seems to have mended his villainous ways since the first movie, as he attempts to piece together a day job/honest enterprise of his own (prior to being recruited to work for the “Anti-Villain League”) and take care of his three girls. Throughout the movie, we see the fatherly protection he has and a sense of family. While the plot contains a portrayal of blended family, the fact of the matter is that is where a vast number of Americans are today. Marriage is upheld as a goal in this movie, which is good.


The famed “minions” do their part in this movie to provide laughs for children viewers. In the end, the good triumphs over evil, as well. Finally, in spite of its PG-rating, had little to no bad words. It was relatively clean for viewers of all ages.


Negative Elements

The movie contains a fair amount of bathroom humor. While most dismiss this as childlike fun, it is no wonder that our children grow up with and among such poor manners. Socrates said, “there is nothing more telling of a man than what he finds funny.” Most Americans, unfortunately, find bathroom references funny. Some of the scenes of this movie could be frightening to the youngest of viewers, as there are some large purple monsters.


Spiritual Elements

There is no mention of God in “Despicable Me 2.” For those wishing for a teachable moment, a la Sunday School, they will walk away disappointed. There are, however, family lessons about boys and girls and dating and marriage that could be discussed by families.


Most viewers going to see this are going for pure amusement (‘a’ means without, ‘muse’ means thinking; put together the word means “without thinking”) for 90 minutes. Within the plot, though, we see the value of forgiveness, redemption and friendship. These are important lessons for children and adults alike these days.


Overall Rating: 3 stars