Despicable Me 3

Nope.

This movie was made to take your money; it does not feel obliged to entertain you in return. The first two films in the franchise felt sweet in their own way, heart-warming in a villainous sort of fashion. But this one just feels incomplete. The movie ended and I felt nothing had really happened. Gru  (voiced by Steve Carrell), our nefarious villain turned secret agent thanks to do-gooder wife, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), meets his twin brother Dru for the first time (Carrell, again). Dru, though seemingly successful and handsome(er), has always been something of a disappointment bad-guy-wise, and begs his brother to teach him everything he knows. Reluctant to go back to his bad guy ways, Gru instead has them steal the world’s largest diamond back from the evil clutches of Balthazar Bratt, a villain who eluded him at the agency.

nintchdbpict000290313314Bratt is an entertaining character on paper: a washed up 80s TV child star who aged out and resented it until his old shows inspired him to become the very villain he played. Middle aged now, and armed with a mullet, a keytar, and a juicy 80s soundtrack that follows his every move, he pulls of heists with exploding bubble gum and an army of dolls who look just like him.

My nephews, who love the franchise, call this movie Minions 3, which tells you what puts 5 year old butts in the seat. Gru has no need for his minions now that he’s turned straight, but some of their side action lands them in prison, and the movie basically splits in two, one plot following Gru and Dru, and the other following the minions. The movie does just enough to satisfy the kids, but anyone over the age of 8 is out of luck. This is yet another franchise that ran out of steam. There’s no focus, no charm. The only good thing about this movie is Steve Carrell’s voicework. I spent a lot of the movie imagining him in a soundproof booth. It’s not the recitation of dialogue that impresses me, but rather I am intrigued by all the assorted random grunts and noises. He had to sit in his booth, and think, now, if I was about to get impaled butt-first on a poisonous stake, what sort of heavily-accented screech would I let out? And what sort of relieved exhalation would I make if I avoided it? And what sort of self-starting grunt would I make to get back to work? And how out of breath would I get trying to sticky-climb up the side of a lair? These questions fascinated me, and kept me entertained during a movie that was supposed to be doing the entertaining.

But okay, there was a SECOND thing that was rather cute. Gru’s unicorn-loving daughter Agnes is again in unicorn mode, determined to see one in person. A kindred spirit, I happen to be hosting a unicorns & rainbows party on Sunday. Because they’re so fluffy I want to die. But two little bright spots do not a good movie make. Despicable Me 3 was boring. Not so boring I wanted to die but I was certainly conscious that its 90 minute runtime brought me closer to the grave, which is not exactly what you want out of a children’s movie. The end.

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16 thoughts on “Despicable Me 3

  1. Chris Scott

    As much as I love a good animated film, thankfully my kids are getting too old for this type of fluff (14, 12, 10) or they just aren’t in to it (the 5 year old). They are far more discerning now.

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  2. Liz A.

    Yeah, this one looks like it’s trying too hard.
    You know what seems to be popular this summer? Unicorn crochet patterns. I’ve seen several. I guess it’s something in the air…

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  3. J.

    Haven’t seen any of these, though I am aware of the Minions. So too is the kiddo, as their images are all over the supermarkets. A sequel made for the ludicrous tie-in cashpennies, I reckon.

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  4. calensariel

    Haven’t seen any of the movies, but as of Saturday we now how pieces of McDonald’s little minions all over our house — ala the grandkiddos! (rolls eyes…)

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  5. Christy B

    They’re onto the 3rd one?!! I’ve only seen the first one but honestly am not rushing to see the rest of the series. I liked the original movie but, well, I got my fill 🙂

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  6. Silver Screenings

    Grr! Why does Hollywood have to suck the life out of truly original movies? (I’m looking at you, Shrek franchise, and at you, Despicable Me.)

    Before I launch into a rant, I want to tell you how much I LOVED your analysis of Steve Carrell’s voice-grunts. That, right there, tells you everything you need to know about this film.

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