Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Director: Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda
Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Julie Andrews
Spoiler alert in effect.
Firstly, let me say that I love Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 (and Minions to a much lesser extent). I felt the first film was especially original and refreshing, and it was the first time we were introduced into this wacky, hilarious, yet strangely endearing world of Gru, his minions and Margo, Edith and Agnes. I felt the sequel was solid attempt, given that they often fail to live up to their predecessors, with further character development and a good attempt at a somewhat original plot. Minions however, was the beginning of the downhill slide. That was essentially an origin story or prequel to the first film, where we follow the plight of the minion race as they try to find the evilest master to serve. The plot dragged on and it was only the cuteness overload that kept me engaged.
So with Despicable Me 3, I had come in with low expectations and fueled only by my deep love for the characters. The trailer looked far from promising, with unoriginal villains and the very cliche ‘the main character has a secret twin brother’ reveal. And sadly, my fears came true. The plot was completely unoriginal and unimaginative, something you could guess from a mile away. What I had enjoyed about the previous films was the plot catering not just for children, but for adults as well. This film just pandered along without any surprises and without the same level of uniqueness as the first. The villain, appropriately named Balthazar Bratt, is a cringeworthy, former 80s child actor who believes he is the character he once played. He wears shoulder pads and shoots bubble gum and guitar lasers. How much tackier can you get. See below for the pictorial evidence.
Gru’s brother Dru provided some new interest and life into the story, but sadly, his character development followed down the path of the typical ‘appears to lead a perfect life on the surface but turns out to have many deep-seeded issues’. He’s initially set up as the antithesis of Gru, with luscious blonde hair and wealth beyond measure (apparently accumulated through the family business of pig farming???). You only need to see the poster to get the idea. He’s funny, gets along with the girls and seems to have everything Gru lacks. But of course, the ‘twist’ is that he is a struggling villain-wannabe, never living up to the expectations of his father (daddy issues alert) and aspiring to his brother’s career. He’s insecure and not confident in his abilities, so he turns to Gru for guidance. Turns they are more in common than they first thought (surprise surprise). So what started as a promising new character who could’ve gone down a different path turned out to be exactly the same as every other secret sibling in every other movie.
So while the storyline and new characters lacked a punch, I still enjoyed myself and laughed for nearly the entire 90 minutes. They obviously know how to use the characters to get their desired response, and it’s always nice to see Gru and his family again and see the minions up to their usual mischief. The whole prison escape sequence is one of my favourite part of the film! Minions are always a guarantee for laughter. Also, Agnes is especially adorable in this film and her whole unicorn obsession makes me want to have a pet goat as well. It’s a film that will give you mindless fun and a great way to cheer you up when you need a little lift. Otherwise, don’t expect much more.