Release Date: June 30, 2017
Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon
Writer: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel, Pierre Coffin, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews, Jenny Slate, Michael Beattie, Andy Nyman, Adrian Ciscato, Brian T. Delaney, Katia Saponenko, Ken Daurio, Jude, Alpers, Cory Walls, Sophie M. Siadatpour, Lori Alan, Stephanie De. Meautis, Carlos Alazraqui, Bruno Dequier, Kyle Balda, Teresa Ganzel, Bob Bergen, Jess Harnell, Gregg Berger
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 90 minutes
Production Company: Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures
Since the beginning of time the majority of people have only witnessed the hero’s side of the story in animation. So a few years ago Illumination studios wanted to turn things around and show the flipside of the coin relating to the villains. It was a smart idea that turned into a lucrative franchise that’s loved by most. If anything, these movies are aimed at children, rightfully so, and deserve their place among good forms of entertainment. There’s even a little sprinkle here and there for adults. Though with this third chapter, Despicable Me 3, it follows the same formula as before, but doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
For the film to focus its marketing on Gru’s (Steve Carell) twin brother Dru (Steve Carell), it spends its time on other elements that it shouldn’t. One of the great things about Despicable Me are the minions. If you didn’t know, they even have their own spinoff film which came about because of their crazy personalities and cute adorable nature. They were the glue that held everything together in the past, but now they serve no purpose at all in this film. If it had focused more on getting to know Dru, or came up with some grand plot twist towards the end, that would’ve sufficed, but instead it focused on the minions floating around looking for their next adventure. What makes Dru so special? He’s the exact opposite of his brother, but doesn’t embrace wanting to be exactly like his brother. For the fourth film in the franchise it would’ve been nice to see Gru try to model after Dru, but it’s the other way around. By doing this it dilutes Dru’s presence, making me wonder why he is even here to begin with. It seems it is just to stretch the plot along to make a runtime that studios will accept.
Now that Gru isn’t the villain anymore, another one emerges from the past and might as well have been cut out of a carboard box. If his history had a connection with our heroic villain it would’ve possibly sufficed, but it didn’t. He has a back story and a diabolical plan that he wants to commit, but the way it was constructed 200 more sequels could be made, making it very unoriginal and flat out dry. There was nothing special about Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) that gave him a reason to warrant so much screen time. He’s just a plot device that’s been in scenes before over and over. He’s silly and cracks a few jokes, but he can bear no more fruit.
Despicable Me 3 isn’t a bad film, but it isn’t a good one either. It dances on the line of, “Oh here we are again,” telling the same story in a slightly different location. This is unlike the Toy Story trilogy, as I cared about every character in those films as if they were my own toys. The real time that passed by with release dates helped warm my heart until the end. There was no connection with the characters here. Whether they seized the day or not I didn’t care. Unlike Toy Story, where the film captures every soul from all ages, Despicable Me is only for children, having adults contemplating whether sitting through this viewing will be a good nap time or not.