I may or may not be a big Despicable Me fan (I am) and I actually, really enjoy th first two movies and they’re probably some of the best kids movies of the last few years. Yes, I even liked Minions to some extent.
Unfortunately, Despicable Me 3 didn’t cut it for me.
The story picks up not long after the second movie ended, Gru (Steve Carrel) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are happily married and working away at the AVL (Anti Villian League). However, when Gru lets Benjamin Bratt (Trey Parker) – 80’s child star turned super villain get away after stealing the worlds biggest diamond both Lucy and Gru are fired.
Jobless and miserable Gru discovers he has a twin brother – Dru! The pair reunite and plan on taking the diamond back from Bratt.
There’s of course a Minion plot and a subplot for the girls in there somewhere as well.
Overall this movie is a total let down, I hold this series quite high with this movie’s predecessor’s being two of my favourite animated movies of recent years. I think the main problem with this installment is that it’s lazy, it brings nothing new to table and unfortunately it’s very unfunny (I was in a pretty empty cinema, but there was still a decent amount of kids. This movie got three big laughs at most?). It introduces a couple of new characters but does nothing with them Dru could’ve been a great addition but he proves to be annoying and makes Gru less funny as well.
This movie proved to me that Steve Carrell’s Gru is great in small doses, times him by two and it becomes annoying and I’m worried this movie might have affected the rest of the franchise for me. Kristen Wiig is great as always and she’s actually my favorite part of Despicable Me 3 but she’s totally under utilised but I’ll talk about that later. Trey Parker is the villain Benjamin Bratt, he’s just as annoying as Dru – I think Parker probably did the best with what he was given but it didn’t work for me and came off a little forced; yes some of his jokes were meant to be cheesy but they weren’t even funny from an audience perspective. The guys who voice the minions still continue to amaze me, how they can makes such nonsense make some form of sense perplexes me but they were good – the minion story however, was not. The cast was rounded out by Jenny Slate – once again criminally under utilised! Oh, we also get a brief Julie Andrew’s cameo as Gru’s mother.
The plot is lazy, it’s very much here’s a scene of the villain with 80’s music, cut to Minions, cut to Gru & Dru, cut to the Girls, constantly back and forth and then the finale. Bratt is probably my least favourite villain of the franchise, I don’t think any of them have been that memorable but neither of the previous two are this much of a gimmick – he is used purely for 80’s references to make the parents laugh. The minions stuff is okay, but even I got a bit sick of it (I sat through and enjoyed Minions) they have no overall effect on the actual story and the majority of there stuff is just potty humor. The Gru and Dru scenes are just Carrell riffing off himself which just comes off as too much and I personally think the journey of finding a long lost sibling could’ve been handled a lot better – admittedly it may of been a bit out of tone for a kids movie, but I think it would give the franchise levity and made for a more emotional installment of the franchise (ala Inside Out). The storyline for the girls is cute and cuddly as always – I’ll give you a hint there’s a unicorn involved.
NOW, here is my biggest grudge with this installment this is how I think this sequel should have went: okay, so right from the off you have Lucy mention how hard being a new mother is, this is golden – Gru experienced this previously in the first movie. You roll with this, you make this your movie take the focus of Gru, Dru, Bratt and the Minions and you go all out on this story between mother and daughter’s! Lucy is building a relationship with the girls throughout this movie, we just don’t see enough of it. There’s a small pay off in the finale and it made me roll a single tear. Plus, you could of gone into more detail about Gru’s dad! Some flashbacks wouldn’t of gone a miss.
Overall, I think we go a pretty lazy movie when in reality we could of gotten a movie about what it means to be a parent, a sibling, part of a family and I think this would have been a lot better received. Kids aren’t dumb, look at Inside Out that movie has become a massive with everyone who has seen it and it’s because Pixar knows how to talk to generations and not just single young audiences out.
The last 20 or so minutes of this movie really aren’t too bad, it’s that first slow burning hour that really lower this movie to me. If you’ve got kids you’ll probably be forced to see this, so take that nap during the first hour and enjoy the saving the world part at the end!