Directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud deliver more warm-hearted thrills and slapstick spills in the sequel to their delightful first film.
Despicable Me 2 doesn’t quite attain the dizzy heights of the original and lacks some of the heart-tugging emotion and warmth that epitomised Gru’s journey from cackling arch-villain to surrogate father.
Young audiences won’t care a jot though, because the action sequences are bigger, including a James Bond-style opening sequence over the Arctic Circle, and the humour is just as silly.
Despicable Me 2 begins shortly after events of the original with Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) living in unconventional domestic bliss with his girls Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher).
He has turned his back on skulduggery and now devotes his subterranean bunker to the production of jams and jellies under the supervision of technical genius Dr Nefario (Russell Brand).
When a new threat to global peace emerges, Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) from The Anti-Villain League stuns Gru with her lipstick taser and pressgangs him into working for the good guys to uncover the mastermind responsible for the theft of a top secret serum.
The trail leads to a local mall where Gru and Lucy pose as co-owners of a cupcake shop in order to spy on two prime suspects: Floyd (Ken Jeong), the beautifully coiffed owner of the wig store; and Eduardo (Benjamin Bratt), manager of the popular Mexican restaurant.
A gooey romantic coda, with a musical accompaniment from the Minions is the icing on a delicious cake.
It is on at the Hollywood Plaza.