Is the latest instalment in Illumination’s smash-hit franchise despicably good or a fiendish failure?
After failing to stop the evil Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), Gru (Steve Carrell) is left jobless and sad, until an event turns his life upside-down — the discovery of his twin brother, Dru (Carrell)! Gru and the family soon fly out to Dru’s island paradise where the reformed villain is offered with an undeniable offer: one last heist, and of Balthazar Bratt!
I’ve seen two of the three ‘Despicable Me’ films preceding this one (I’m including the 2015 spin-off ‘Minions’ in this list and is the movie I haven’t seen) and must admit I’m not in love with the franchise. The first film I do quite enjoy as it’s a playful twist on the stereotypes of animated superhero films putting you in the villain’s shoes, and I was a big fan of the climax not being an over-blown explosion-fest, but a true moral decision of whether to go to a children’s theatre performance or steal the moon — gritty, realistic and exactly what I look for in a modern film. The second instalment isn’t so great as Gru becomes a good guy and the whole film turns into a mass of clichés and predictability, all set to the catchy tune of Pharrell Willams’ Happy.
‘Despicable Me 3’ lucky gets rid of this cliché filled nature and, though it still follows Gru as a good guy, it’s a lot more entertaining than the second instalment in the franchise. I’m a big fan of the villain of the film, Balthazar Bratt, and liked all the 80s jokes, pokes and music. Overall the whole film was quite humorous and fun for the whole family, not just the kids. I felt the relationship between Gru and Dru was done well and Steve Carrell’s voice performance really brought it together.
It’s hard to really criticise a film of this nature because, well, it’s for kids, and if you take it to seriously then you should be doing better things. Despite this, I feel I should mention how muddled the plot was in parts and how hectic it became, cutting between maybe three or four different sub-plots within the main action of the film. This could at points make it all a bit hectic and I felt a lot of the plots didn’t really come to anything or have much of a purpose.
Overall, ‘Despicable Me 3’ is a strong animated movie with good characters and voices, but a slightly muddled plot, leaving me to give it seven-out-of-ten.
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