Movie Review: Despicable Me 3
Despicable Me 3, the latest installment in the Despicable Me franchise, opened this weekend with a strong $72.4 million debut. The story continues to follow former supervillain, Gru, and his family. This newest installment continues to feature the voice talents of Steve Carrell as Gru and now his long lost twin brother, Dru, and Kristen Wiig as Lucy. This picture also debuts Trey Parker as the villain, Balthazar Bratt, and of course, continues showing the yellow minions that have taken the world by storm.
Picking up where Despicable Me 2 left off, Gru and his wife, Lucy, now work for the Anti-Villain League (AVL). They are sent to stop and capture the supervillain, Balthazar Bratt, who is stealing an expensive and very large diamond. Gru is able to stop the heist, but Bratt escapes, and when the AVL gains a new boss, he is fired for his repeated failures to capture Bratt. With the loss of their jobs, the minions urge Gru to return to villainy, which he refuses to do. The minions leave, and while Gru is trying to figure everything out, he finds out that he has a long lost twin brother, Dru. All five of them go to meet Dru, and soon after they arrive, Gru learns that villainy is the family business. This discovery leads to Gru and Dru working together and eventually battling Balthazar Bratt once again.
It was only as I sat in the theater for this movie that I realized I had never seen the second one. Thankfully, it didn’t take me long to catch up on what I had missed, and as usual, I was pleased to see the family dynamic with Gru. The first film was a delight as he learned to love those three little girls, and those relationships are still some of the best parts of this film. Gru's interactions with Agnes in particular and Agnes’ adorable obsession with unicorns continues to be some of the standout moments. They managed to also include Lucy’s challenge of becoming a mom to the three of them, which added another nice layer to the film.
They also expanded the family storyline by introducing Gru’s long lost twin brother, Dru. While this wasn’t my favorite development of the film, I don’t think I’ll ever complain about hearing Steve Carrell voice another unique character. I think they could have delved into their dynamic more and given more heart to some difficult realizations between the two of them. However, their relationship is still full of fun interactions, and you cannot help but enjoy seeing Gru scowl at Dru’s flowing blonde locks.
Perhaps some of my favorite parts, though, had to do with Balthazar Bratt. His arc is an interesting one as a child actor who played a villain in the 80’s and seeks to become a true villain when his show is cancelled. He encompasses everything about the eighties, from shoulder pads and rubik’s cubes to a killer soundtrack featuring “Bad” from Michael Jackson. His characterization is truly fantastic, and I like that he is a different villain from what Gru has faced in the past.
While Despicable Me 3 won’t be my favorite film of the year, it was still a cute family film. There were times when I thought they had too much going on between the minions, Bratt, Gru, Dru, and Lucy’s dynamic with the girls. However, it still contained several good laughs and some heartfelt moments. It is incredibly hard for sequels to live up to the original, and that is the case with this film. However, this franchise won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, so I’ll be sure to look forward to more adventures with Gru, Lucy, the girls, and their yellow companions.