My Review of Despicable Me 3
I will admit that I don’t go to a ton of movies, I am not someone who plans to see every new release. But as a father with pre-teen, certain movies are a total no brainer, or at least there is absolutely no way I can avoid them. This summer is tough with Cars 3 out as well, but for the moment I got to enjoy Despicable Me 3, which oddly is sort of the 4th movie in the series when you consider that the Minions Movie was really just a big prequel.
It’s all good because the combination of evil villainy and the minions just works fine for me. This series manages to be absolutely perfect for kids with some well hidden moral messages, but at the same time doesn’t have to throw in wink wink adult humor to keep the parents happy. It’s pretty universal, and that is what has made this franchise a multi-billion dollar seller. Despicable Me 3 doesn’t vary too much away from what makes it work, and that in the end is a good thing. The only treat for the adults (much like the Minions Movie) is that the soundtrack is “dated” enough to keep parent’s toes tapping and butts wiggling to the songs we grew up with. This time around it’s the 80s in all it’s joy, and there is plenty of joy.
First part of my review is this: The movie is short. It’s listed as 1 hour 36 minutes, but that seems to include closing credits that run a good 10 minutes or more. It’s actually just about noticeable that the whole thing is a little bit shorter in the “meat” section, but I don’t hold that too much against them, I think that movies aimed at a younger audience should be a little more pithy and a little less yappy.
The movie is built on three main story arcs and couple of sub plots. The biggest arc is the world’s largest jewel stolen by arch villain Balthazar Bratt, an 80s child star that is stuck in the 80s and very angry at Hollywood for sort of casting him out after he turned into a teen. That anger drives him to be the best dancing thief of all. The desire of Gru and his wife Lucy to stop this master criminal for the Anti Villain League, their failure, and the results of that failure are all parts of the story arc.
The second story arc is finding out that Gru has a twin brother, named Dru. I won’t spoil it all here, except to say that it’s all in the hair, I guess. There is some family history in thievery that bonds them into a plan to steal the biggest Jewel away from Bratt. Their bonding as brothers and the final twist are all very integral to how the movie plays out.
The third arc is the Minions. Disappointed with Gru being a nice guy and not being a villain anymore, they decide it’s time to move on. Their travels and tribulations and how they end up integrated back into the third act is pretty fun, and they provide much of the comic relief for the movie. They also provide a wonderful twist for the very end of the movie, which hints at a future for the franchise in a totally different direction from where it was headed.
In the end, everything works out as it should, more or less. The sub-plot of Lucy not feeling like Mom to the youngest is resolved at the end of the third act, as the sleep youngest step daughter says “good night mommy”. Other things are cleared up like where the Minions end up, and how Gru and Lucy end up back in the AVL.
Overall, I give the movie about 4 out 5 stars. Some of the plot is a little too obvious, the third act is perhaps a little lacking originality (except for those minions), and it is perhaps not quite as satisfying a movie especially if you are wishing for the happy evil of the original movie. If you have young ones, this is not a bad choice. If you liked the others, you won’t be disappointed. If you aren’t sure, wait for it on video, it will make for a really good cold winter weekend rental.