Despicable Me 3 is a combination of visual decadence, 80’s gags, and a re-hashed narrative that will have children laughing their butts off.
The film is framed around two different stories. It begins by talking about the origin of super villain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) and how a failed child star became the world’s greatest evil-doer. Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are now veteran members of the Anti-Villian League, and they are hot on the trail of Bratt. The Anti-Villian gets word that he’s attempting to steal a huge diamond off of a freighter and dispatches our two heroes to go and apprehend the thief. Gru manages to retrieve the diamond but allows Bratt to slip away. This leads to them being fired. Seemingly out of nowhere, Gru finds out the very next day that he has a very wealthy twin brother named Dru and that he’s invited his family to his mansion. Lucy views this as an opportunity to bond with the girls. Gru sees it as a chance to connect with family. Dru thinks he can learn a thing or two about the family business. Of course, nothing happens as planned.
The other narrative centers around the Minions. They have grown weary of being safe and long for Gru to go back to being evil. When the minions beg to go back to their evil ways, he tells them no, so they decide to split. Soon after leaving, their shenanigans land all of them in prison. Will they wait out their sentences or bust out to rejoin with Gru?
The animation is so crisp, and the lines are so clean that it gave the film a type of certain realism.
Parker’s vocal talents made Bratt a fun villain for Gru to go head to head with.
Lucy has this minor story line where she’s trying to figure out what it means to be a step mother. Very relatable to many families who will be paying to see this over the weekend.
Making the villain someone who was stuck in the 80’s was a great decision.
It was good to see Gru’s commitment to staying good even when his brother is tempting to back to what he knows best.
What Didn’t Work
It’s a paper thin story that appears to borrow from the first two films.
We see the same gags from the minions that we’ve seen over and over again.
There is much to say about Despicable Me 3. If we are judging this film on its merits, then no one should bother paying to see it this weekend. However, sometimes we venture to the movies because our kids are super jazzed to see something. There’s nothing in the film that wouldn’t appeal to children from the ages of 3-11. It’s not very often that something is released which is 100% kid friendly and if the kids are laughing a ton, sometimes that’s good enough.