Despicable Me 2

Didn't you just love Despicable Me? Sure, it wasn't completely hilarious or particularly memorable but it was thoughtful and charming with some cool tracks from Pharrell Williams and the ever-popular minions added in for extra chuckles. Clearly everyone involved knew what people liked from the 2010 movie because they've brought back Pharrell and the minions but alas, the charm, sweetness and humour has all but disappeared.

The problems are evident immediately because it's clear they had no idea what to do with Dara O'Briain Gru (Steve Carell); the hook of Despicable Me is that the main character was in fact the villain, and by the end of the story you actually wanted him to become a good man and father to his three adopted daughters, so what now? Well, apart from a new foe who's about as interesting stale bread, his romantic life comes to the fore with a new love interest in the shapeless shape of Anti-Villain League agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig, who also voiced Miss Hattie in the first film). The screening I attended was full of children coked up to their eyeballs on sugar and even they didn't laugh at anything she said. Dead silence. Nada. Not a peep. She's not only unfunny, but she sucks the joy out of the room.

So since Lucy and Gru, who's never been a particularly funny anyway, aren't bringing the gags, that responsibility is left to the Minions who can do two things: make funny sounds and reference R&B groups from the 90s. Both of those are fine in small doses but when that's all you're giving over the course of 98 minutes there's a problem. The Minions are getting their own spin-off movie next year so it'll be interesting to see how a bunch of speechless yellow creatures can carry a film on their own but if this is anything to go by, they can't.