Despicable Me 3 (Full Review)

Pixar and Dreamworks aren’t the only ones who can make great animated films. When Despicable Me first arrived in 2010, it became a surprise hit thanks to its endearing family story that molded seamlessly with a brand of Looney Tunes-like slapstick humor. But after a solid 2013 follow up film, the animators at Illumination tested their luck by making a Minions spinoff that fell flat. With Despicable Me 3, there is a need to rekindle the old magic to avoid the franchise from becoming stale.

Despicable_Me_3_(2017)_Teaser_PosterDespicable Me 3 picks up where Part 2 left off. Former supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) continues to raise his three adopted girls Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Agnes (Nev Scharrel), and Edith (Dana Gaier) while serving as a secret agent with his new wife Lucy (Kristin Wiig). After failing to capture an 80’s obsessed former child star turned supervillain (Trey Parker), Gru and Lucy lose their jobs as agents and are forced to seek refuge with Gru’s long lost wannabe villain twin brother, Dru.

If Minions almost made you forget just how great the Despicable Me stories are, Despicable Me 3 thankfully has several moments that are a pleasant reminder. The family dynamic is once again wonderfully charming and the laughs are plentiful. The biggest flaw is in the addition of the wholly unnecessary and often annoying character of Dru, but by the end even he manages to fit into the dynamic without feeling out of place. As for the minions, they are thankfully back where they belong as the comedic sideshow where most of them are involved in a plot that requires them to break out of prison.

Like the villains in the previous films, Trey Parker’s Balthazar Bratt is meant to be less of an in depth character and more of just a comedic caricature. And what a caricature he is. Dancing to Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ while doing the “running man”, the character provides some good laughs even if you could care less about why he exists. Despicable Me 3, unlike the Minions spinoff, has a better understanding of what works best in the franchise and even if the story isn’t quite as memorable as parts 1 and 2, it manages to still be a wholesome and funny family adventure.

FINAL GRADE: B

MOORE REVIEWS Grading Scale:

A = Must See/Top 10 Nominee

B = Good film. Flawed, but still very entertaining

C = Not Bad, but highly flawed/Worthy of a Redbox

D = Terrible Movie with a few redeeming qualities

F = I wanted to walk out/Don’t waste time or money

 

 

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Minions Quick Review

Minions_posterBack in 2010, Despicable Me became a hit among children and adults. And with that, the minions became an overnight sensation. The little yellow, gibberish spouting, characters weren’t the heart and soul of the film or its 2013 sequel, but they certainly were the biggest form of comic relief. So it only made sense for Illumination Pictures to cash in on their popularity with a spinoff/prequel adventure about those spunky critters.

Minions takes place in the 1960’s, as the titular characters search the world for a master to give their henchmen-like lifestyle purpose. Three of them; leader Kevin, goofball Stuart, and childish Bob, head to a Villain convention where they are united with super villainess Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock) and her husband, Herb (Jon Hamm). Together, they plot to steal the crown jewels from London.

If you’ve always found the antics of the minions to be cute and silly then you’ll feel no different watching this film. But, don’t expect a story that is coherent or even as heartfelt as the plots of the two Despicable Me films. With characters like Steve Carell’s Gru relegated to cameos and even Sandra Bullock’s Scarlett Overkill only appearing for about half of the movie, the slapstick goofiness of the minions gets old pretty quickly. Children will enjoy every second of this movie, but adults who were enamored with the quality storytelling of Despicable Me might find themselves nodding off every now and then.

FINAL GRADE: C-