Despicable Me 2 (Kaito Gru no Minion Kiki Ippatsu)
Opens Opens Sept. 21, 2013

Two things stand out about 2010 animated comedy “Despicable Me”: The hero, Gru (Steve Carell), is a villain (a philosophical oxymoron in itself), and he’s not that despicable. Sure, he freeze-dries people in front of him in line at Starbucks and tries to grab the coveted Star Villain slot on cable TV — but come on, you call that evil?

Now the sequel has arrived. Directed once again by the duo of Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, “Despicable Me 2” is noticeably more kid-friendly: Gru is now the proud and overworked dad of the three little girls he plucked out of an orphanage in the first installment, and he’s more likely to be found crafting their school lunches in the kitchen than sipping on lattes. So far, so awwww.

Things pick up when Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League as an insider to investigate the robbery of an Arctic laboratory, when his Minions (yellow bug-eyed critters that adore Gru) are mysteriously kidnapped. As Gru deals with these problems and at the same time wrestles with the pre-teen romance of his oldest girl Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), he decides this is no time for despicability. No kidding.

For a chance to win one of three “Despicable Me 2” children’s hats, visit jtimes.jp/film.

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