Despicable Me 3- Movie Review

Despicable Me 3. Credit: Universal

What is it about?                                                                                                                     The third Despicable Me movie and the fourth in the franchise, Despicable Me 3 is about villain-turned-hero Gru, now living with his wife Lucy and three daughters Agnes, Edith, and Margo. He finds out he has a more successful twin brother, Dru, who wants to revive their family’s tradition of villainy and go on one more heist. Meanwhile,supervillain Balthazar Bratt, who was a child actor in the 80s, but got his show canceled, is on the loose.

Gru (left) next to his brother Dru (right), both voiced by Steve Carrell. Credit: Universal

How is it? 5.9/10                                                                                            Despicable Me 3 is a serviceable, mediocre fourth installment in the Despicable Me franchise that is occasionally funny, but is too formulaic and forgettable to stand out.

The Ups                                                                                                                                       This movie, as it is a comedy, does have a few funny lines. However, there is some humor that doesn’t work as well, which I will cover more in The Downs.

The animation here is great. The visual work on all of the characters is fantastic, as is the par for animated movies these days. In addition, this movie is super colorful, which goes with the sugary, light-hearted tone of it.

Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), the 80s themed villain of the movie. Credit: Universal

Like most movies in this franchise, the voice acting here is pretty good, and quite entertaining throughout the cast. Everyone has fun delivering their lines, and some characters that show this are Balthazar Bratt, voiced by Trey Parker,  who is always gleefully over-the-top, and Gru, voiced by Steve Carrell. Gru’s daughter Agnes continues to be one of the funniest characters in these movies as she deliver innocently adorable dialogue that brings laughs.

Gru (Steve Carrell) facing off against Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker). Credit: Universal

This movie is also relatively fast paced and moves along briskly. This speediness seldom allows the audience to get bored.

The Downs                                                                                                                                About the humor in Despicable Me 3, a lot of it falls flat. I rarely found myself laughing, and many of the jokes just weren’t too funny. On top of this, the few good jokes were mostly given away in the trailers. The story here is quite forgettable as well. It follows the formula of the rest of the Despicable Me movies quite closely and is rarely inventive. The plot took very few risks and wasn’t that ambitious.

(Left to right): Dru and Gru (Steve Carrell) quarreling while Lucy (Kristen Wiig) is in the background. Credit: Universal

Dru, Gru’s twin brother in the film, isn’t too entertaining. He’s basically a more light-hearted version of Gru and there’s nothing about him that makes him very special. In addition, Balthazar Bratt, the villain, is nothing more than a gimmick. His character occasionally pops on screen to make an 80s reference, which the target audience probably won’t connect with and listen along to an 80s song.

Despicable Me 3 skips along from subplot to subplot to maintain the audience’s attention. There are several side stories all going on at the same time, which may seem entertaining as there is always something happening, but prevents any real exploration of a single story. None of the characters are too well developed because of this.

A Minion up to no good in prison during one of the flick’s funnier sequences. Credit: Universal

The Minions, whether you like, love them, or find them extremely annoying, have a small side role. Their role is entertaining and funny enough, but pretty inconsequential. However, this is a good thing, given that with too much screen time, they would probably distract from the movie more.

Overall, Despicable Me 3 is a generally light-hearted, well-animated flick that, besides a few funny bits, falls flat. It jumps to various different side stories when a single subplot begins to feel tired. The movie does stays fast-moving, never feeling too slow, but eventually is quite unmemorable.

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