Despite what I had hoped, it seemed inevitable for Universal studios to bring about another Despicable Me movie to compete in this summer’s animation flick. The series has been incredibly popular with merchandising, despite a film series with an up and down quality. Gru and company are back for another round to try and tickle our funny bones while melting our hearts in the process. Will time number four (three if you don’t count the prequel) return back to the quality of the first predecessor, or does it fall victim to merchandising simplicity? Robbie K here to try and answer that question! Let’s get started!
Animation/Cute: We all know that these movies are adorable, and that same atmosphere is present through much of the movie. The relationships between Gru and his Minions, and his newfound brother Dru, and even loveable little Agnes and her new family are certain to soften the hardest hearts. And to bring that cuteness to full form is the loveable, fluid, and crazy animation of this series. All the disproportioned anatomical parts, colorful settings, and vibrant gestures are flawless in this movie and bring that same atmosphere you fell in love with.
Funny/Clever: Of course Despicable Me isn’t just about being cute, but also comical at the same time. It seems the directing team learned something from their first movie, and did a nice job bringing entertainment to the silver screen. Despicable Me 3 dives back into its comedy roots, maximizing on awkwardly hilarious scenarios and over the top comedic delivery. Gru (and Dru) spout off plenty of one-liners that had me laughing, in those grossly accented, over the top accents that make me laugh. The writing is not only well-timed, but also quite clever in the number of references they make alongside the pokes at popular culture. Even the Minions redeem themselves, falling back into a supporting role that changes up the comedy styles and brings even more laughs. Such nice balance works and is a step in the right direction for future series, especially with the jokes integrated into a story instead of just jabbering nonsense.
Music: If you have read my previous reviews, then you know I appreciate good sound support to the visuals. Certainly, the sound editing goes well with all the crazy visual effects, but the real masterpiece comes in the music. Balthazar Bratt is an 80’s obsessed villain, see the trailer, and with this obsession comes a love for the 80’s songs. Despicable Me 3 is not shy of the wonders of the decade, in all their toe tapping, synthesizer heavy glory. I was happy to know all the songs on the track list, and appreciated it even more at the clever integration into the movie. Sure, there are some stretches into the silly section, but for the most part my friend and I had a blast enjoying the teams’ integration into the movie that was incredibly fun!
Smaller Character Development: It was cute, it was cuddly, and it had some strong moments of development. Yet Despicable Me 3 still cannot hold a candle to the majesty of the first film in regards to balance of the character development. Gru and Dru’s story is well matched, and the main villain has a tightened-up story. Yet, the development of the other characters remains lacking at parts, forced at times into a rushed mess that felt shallow and lacking. Gru is doing well with his fatherhood, but the third installment somehow washes the caring father role away in favor of the newer relationships, such a shame. In addition, I didn’t feel the emotional kick like I did back in the first installments as well. There was one point I felt sorry for a side character, but outside of that…nothing.
No Dr. Nefario: It’s unfortunate, but true. Fans of the notorious, invention making, gas filled madmen are going to be disappointed with the lack of his deep voice and obscure lines. Sure, there is a cameo (that is quite entertaining), but the absence of the side kick was a disappointment to this reviewer and the hilarity that could have ensued. Oh well, perhaps the next one will bring him back into the mix, but don’t get your heart set on anything.
Trailers reveals much: Why can Hollywood not learn to sell everything in the trailers? Despicable me 3 falls victim to much being revealed in the 3-4 tv spots that have been released. Pay attention to these trailers and you will be able to decipher the intentions, schemes, and outcomes of much of the movie leaving little to the imagination. And yes, there are many comedy moments that have been overdone on the trailers, which may chip away some of the effect. Shame on you advertising for revealing so much surprise. Fortunately, if you are free of TV ads (thanks to streaming), you are okay.
Despicable Me 3 was a fun, family friendly adventure that I very much enjoyed. With a fantastic sense of comedy, revamping of storytelling, and animation to support it all, I certainly think this entertainment worth watching. Yes, it still has its shortcomings in regards to emotional punches, character development, and surprise, but this reviewer feels the positivity contained in the 90 minutes will make up for it. Worth a trip to the theater? You bet it is, but no so much in 3-D as it did little but to add the coming at you from the screen gimmick.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.0