I actually secretly love DESPICABLE ME. I gave it kind of a lukewarm review at the time, but I've grown to like it more and more over time. It's essentially about the childlike innocence of pure evil. Not the incidental evil that comes from a love of money, power, fame, etc. It's pure evil--evil for the love of being evil. It's not evil so much as id, and so of course it gets along well with children.
The thing is, by the end of the first movie Gru (Steve Carell) isn't evil anymore. And he's still not evil at the beginning of this sequel. In fact, he's so not evil that his longtime assistant Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) leaves for a more evil job. Meanwhile, agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) of the AVL (Anti-Villain League) recruits him to help on an important case. Wait, the "despicable" title character starts out by helping to save the world? Whatever. There's a lot of great comic talent here, and for the most part the jokes are funny (especially the antics of the minions) and the story works. It's just missing that original spark of realizing the joy of pure evil.
Total Running Time: 98 minutes
My Total Minutes: 333,349