9 July 2017 | bkrauser-81-311064
Feels More Like a Sitcom Than a Movie
As far as disposable sequels to kids films, Despicable Me 3 is pretty much on par with Cars 3 (2017). It's not a particularly memorable film nor can it really hold its own against something like The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) but at least it's not unpleasant. In-fact in may ways Despicable Me 3 is better than the original in that it improves its look-and-feel and provides a decent foil for once in the form of Trey Parker's Balthazar Bratt. Of course it's to the detriment of neutering the refreshing mean-spirited-ness of the original, but hey, at least you still got those Minions am I right? Despicable Me 3 catches Gru (Carell) and newly minted wife Lucy (Wiig) trying and failing to secure the world's largest diamond from the hands of Bratt our flamboyant 80's themed villain. Fired by the new head of the Anti-Villain League (Slate), Gru and Lucy discover he has a twin brother named Dru (also Carell) whom their parents separated at birth. With nothing on their plate, Gru, Lucy and the girls (Cosgrove, Gaier and Scharrel), travel to the Mediterranean coasts of Freedonia to meet Dru.
When the family lands in Freedonia, the movie descends into a series of fun but thematically incongruous vignettes. Gru bonds with his brother over Dru's desire to become a villain, Lucy fails, succeeds and fails again to become a mother figure to the three girls, Agnes, the youngest of the three tries to capture a unicorn, Balthazar Bratt sees his plans for world domination come to near-fruition and the Minions...well let's just say they have their own thing going as well.
About half of all this busy, busy, business works at least as far as furthering the plot. The fact that none of the film's insanity really coalesces into a compelling whole, only makes the film feel more like a mediocre sitcom episode than an actual movie. Yet as far as inspired moments of slapstick, Despicable Me 3 supplies a little bit more than is to be expected. One highlight involves Gru and Dru driving around the Freedonian countryside in a golden-plated mean machine while police follow while riding literal pigs. Parents will find these comedic bits more amusing than funny but the kids, the kids will be rolling up and down the aisles.
And isn't that what this movie is ultimately about? To provide entertainment to children? While I don't necessarily condone families watching kid's films for their own sake (and this one in particular is all over the map as far as messaging), there's not really all that much to object about here. Despicable Me 3 is at its core a thoughtless but entertaining jumble of sights, sounds and goofiness. Thankfully unlike your racist aunt, Illumination Entertainment has not used the Minions for nefarious purposes...at least not yet.