Quick Hit: Better than the last one due to a more interesting villain, but too much plot wasted.
Despicable Me 3 came out last year, and it kind of flew into theaters and left, and I honestly can’t remember anyone really talking about it. It was just a bit of a shoulder shrug of animated entertainment, and then the world continued to talk about Wonder Woman and Spiderman: Homecoming (rightly so). I wasn’t in any rush to see it, and so this was the first time I had watched this one. After being severely disappointed in Despicable Me 2, I wasn’t exactly in high spirits for this one. And while I found this one slightly more entertaining than the previous one, I still didn’t think it reached the heights of the opening salvo of the series.
This film follows Gru and family as first Gru and Lucy are fired, the Minions abandon them, and then they find out that Gru has a brother, Dru (also played by Carrell, only squeakier). Turns out, Gru is pretty much the exact opposite of Gru, in that he’s not exactly great at villainy, and he has flowing blonde locks. However, they must attempt to steal the world’s largest diamond, from someone who stole it before. That person is Balthazar Bratt, and he is by far the most interesting character in the movie.
A failed child star, Balthazar Bratt refuses to let go of his past stardom. He decides to go the villain route, using his character’s own catch phrases and weapons that are inspired by his show. He consistently dance fights and uses extremely interesting weapons, in a call back to Vector from the original trilogy. I also thought that there was a solid development of rivalry between Gru and Bratt that was missing from the previous movie.
I also thought this movie did a good job at restoring some of Gru’s adeptness at villainy. The last movie gave him far too few scenes to shine, and effectively neutered him. While he is still a bit of a shell of himself, he’s better here, and that’s good. What is unfortunate is that there is a probably a much better movie hiding here that cuts out a lot of the extraneousness and instead focuses on the rivalry between Gru and Bratt. But it gets lost in subplots that are sprinkled all over the film. First, there’s the subplot between Lucy and the girls, as she struggled with what it seems to be a mother to these formally orphaned girls. Next, there is a subplot with Agnes attempting to find a unicorn for real. And of course, because most of the movie is set in a different country, there’s a subplot involving an engagement gone wrong involving Margo, who apparently is only in this series to attract teenage boys.
However, the film succeeds where the other fails and gives us a little bit less Minion. Whereas the last movie they seemed nearly omnipresent, the Minions leave Gru and the story for long periods of time. They are now used similarly to the first movie, which is to add laughs and emotional impact, but not to carry the entire story.
As I alluded to, this movie is a step in the right direction, but not up to par with the original. I’m going to rate this one a “C”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"