Despicable Me 3 Review
By Rich Cline
Actually the fourth film in the series (don’t forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain comedy continues the wildly hyperactive antics of Gru and his yellow sidekicks, blending hilarious references with crazed action to keep the audience laughing. It’s so jam-packed with gags that the movie leaves the audience feeling a little bewildered along the way, since we never get a chance to lock into either the story or characters before we’re off for another manic set-piece. But it’s a lot of fun.
We catch up with Gru (Steve Carell) and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) as they’ve just been outfoxed by arch-nemesis Bratt (Trey Parker), a former 1980s child TV star gone very, very bad. Sacked by the Anti-Villain League, Gru and Lucy are unsure how they’re going to support their three adopted daughters (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Nev Scharrel). Then they discover that Gru has a twin brother he never knew about. So they head to a remote island nation, where they meet Dru (also Carell), who lives in splendour on his epic pig farm. But Dru dreams of being a villain like their late father, so he convinces Gru to offer him some training. And, pretending that it’s a heist, Gru takes Dru along on a mission to capture Bratt.
Every scene is a riot of jokes, mainly poking fun at 1980s movies, music, TV shows and fashion. Bratt is hilariously annoying, with his awful moustache and mullet, and a lair that recreates the set from Olivia Newton John’s Physical video. But these witty touches fly at the screen so quickly that they only just register before there are another five gags upon us. The frantic pacing is enjoyable even if it’s rather exhausting, mainly because the characters are so endearing. Carell and Wiig once again bring their impeccable timing to their roles, mixing comedy with some surprisingly sweet emotion in their parallel storylines: Gru as he learns to be a brother and Lucy as she yearns to be seen as a mom to the girls, two of whom have little subplots of their own.
There’s also an entirely separate adventure involving the minions, who abandon Gru when he’s jobless and proceed to enter a TV talent competition before going to prison and plotting an elaborate escape. Yes, these plot strands converge for some over-the-top final chaos that’s packed with more silliness than seems humanly possible. The movie is far too choppy and busy for its own good, but it provides the giggles we expect from this franchise.
Starring: Steve Carell as Gru / Dru (voice), Kristen Wiig as Lucy Wilde (voice), Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario (voice), Jenny Slate as (voice), Steve Coogan as Silas (voice), Miranda Cosgrove as Margo (voice), Dana Gaier as Edith (voice), Andy Nyman as Clive (voice), Nev Scharrel as Agnes (voice), Trey Parker as Balthazar Bratt (voice), Pierre Coffin as Kevin the Minion / Bob the Minion / Stuart the Minion / Additional Minions / Evil Minions (voice) (rumored), Michael Beattie as The Scar Faced Man / TMZ Announcer (voice)