Despicable Me 3
7 years after Despicable Me first graced our screens with bumbling villain turned lovable dad Felonius Gru, comes the release of Despicable Me 3. With a possibility of not living up to the original, or its equally brilliant sequel (the slightly unoriginally named) Despicable Me 2, the third movie is always going to be viewed with some trepidation. Co-directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda the movie still contains Gru and his minions, his adorable 3 daughters and his new wife Lucy. Dr Nefario however is somewhat quiet, having accidentally encased himself in carbonite for the entire film.
This time around Steve Carrell gets the chance to play two characters, himself and his newly discovered twin brother Dru. Brilliantly voiced as usual, the twin’s evolving relationship is amusing to see. Their affection and Dru’s determination to involve Gru in the family business proves a bit of a distraction for Gru from his normal parenting and crime fighting role – is it possible he will head back into villainy?
Meanwhile my favourite character, aptly named Lucy, is perfectly portrayed by Kristen Wiig. She is new to the game of motherhood and desperate to get it right. Her mama bear protectiveness for Gru’s girls and absolute ability to handle whatever situation is thrown her way, make her into the best mother one could ever hope for.
Newly introduced villain Balthazar Bratt will appeal to anyone with a fondness for eighties schtick. Shoulder pads, pump sneakers, rubik’s cubes and 80s pop tunes all feature as Balthazar, being a former child star of the eighties, utilises them in his villainy. Trey Parker, most well known as co-creator of Southpark and for voicing Eric Cartman, plays the quirky villain whose initial robbery using expanding pink bubble gum and a sonic keytar for weapons is inspired.
The film is somewhat overloaded with different story lines. While entertaining it could have benefited by focusing on one or two rather than spreading itself a little thinly. There is the new relationship between twins Dru and Gru, Lucy is trying to negotiate her way through being the 3 girls’ new mother, there’s the rivalry between Gru and villain Balthazar Bratt. Then there are the girls themselves, with the unicorn obsession of youngest daughter Agnes proving a delightful distraction, her flawless performance of overexcitement will be well recognised by any parent.
A good sign the movie is a success for a family comedy is people laughing in the cinema. That happened with this one, and the 9yo who attended with me loved it. Not as amazing as the original, when every character was fresh and new, the movie is still full of fun, has plenty of references from the eighties to entertain parents, and overall is definitely a movie worth taking the kids to.
Rating: PG Violence.