The third installment of the “Despicable Me” series follows the further misadventures of Gru and his minions and family, this time involving the sudden appearance of Dru, a twin brother he never knew he had.
Returning to the role as Gru is Steve Carrell who plays both Gru and Dru in the movie. With him is Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters) as Lucy, his super-spy wife.
Their nemesis for this outing, Baltazar Bratt, a former ’80s child star turned villan. His gimmick for the movie is that he’s a man stuck in the past, re-living his glory days in the 1980’s. As a result the soundtrack is peppered with gems from that decade, from Dire Straits’ “I Want My MTV” to A-ha’s “Take On Me.” It’s enough to get anyone familiar with the music smiling and tapping along. Add to that several new Pharrell Williams originals and the soundtrack is surely far from despicable.
Bratt’s depiction, though, with his over-the-top dance moves, exaggerated shoulder pads, and awful retro toy commercials do not paint the rest of the ’80s in a very good light. It’s great for a giggle or two but if you grew up in the ’80s and have lots of love for that time in history, it’s far from nostalgic. It is going to sting more than a bit.
A “Despicable Me” movie wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t have the lovable miscreants, the minions. The yellow little banana-loving rascals are always fun to watch, and here they get into their own heap of trouble while Gru is sorting out his family affairs.
All in all “Despicable Me 3” was good for a laugh (many laughs, actually) however it still pales in comparison to the original. The core of the first one was the relationship between Gru and his adoptive girls, Margo, Edith, and Agnes. In this one, the core was supposed to be the relationship between him and his brother, which moves along as well as expected but never reaches the same heights as the first. There was a missed opportunity to explore the relationship between the girls and Lucy as well.
The main target audience for the film is undoubtedly children, those who enjoy the exaggerated, cartoony props and gadgets and slapstick humor. So those looking for a deep emotional payoff will find a bit of it, but not much. If you’re a kid at heart though, you’ll certainly find something to snicker or guffaw about.
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