Despicable Me 3 opens this week and it brings with it a charming, if not a little repetitive, new chapter in the franchise. The entire gang is back to cause, create and then solve a global catastrophe.
More of a good thing isn’t always better, kind of like chocolate and wine (ok, maybe just chocolate), but here we are shown that the little yellow pyscho Minion’s are just as fun and adorable, even more so when in smaller doses, especially after the mediocre attempt at a full length Minions tie-in movie.
This time around, Gru (Steve Carell), Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and the children, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and the unicorn obsessed Agnes (Nev Scharrel, doing a wonderful job replacing Elsie Fisher) have to come to terms with the loss of Gru and Lucy’s job at the Anti-Villain League after failing to capture the Balthazar Bratt (Voiced by South Park’s Trey Parker), the latest bad guy to threaten humanity. With no job, Gru and Lucy have to try and find themselves and figure out just who they are without an agency on their back.
An elderly Butler shows up at Gru’s doorstep and after a few hilariously failed attempts, informs Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother by the name of Dru (also voiced by Carrel). Flying to see him, Gru and co find out that his brother has fared better than he has, financially anyway. But Dru desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps of old! Will Gru give in and go back to his fundamentally flawed criminal past?
On top of the madness of family, and Lucy trying to be a great new Step Mum for the girls, learning Gru’s place in the world, and the loss of Agne’s cute and fluffy Unicorn, we of course follow the Minions. With no agency and no more criminal activity to attend to, the Minion’s leave Gru, running off to find more trouble, only ending up in a deep pile of it themselves. Stumbling into a movie backlot that looks oddly like Universal Studios after chasing a pizza delivery driver, they accidentally interrupt a singing talent audition and find themselves in a maximum security prison (what happens when you watch The Voice).
If you can keep up with all of that, you’re in for a treat. The movie never really slows down to take it all in, but somehow it keeps afloat and I enjoyed it more than Despicable Me 2. Dru is a lovable new character, one I was worried that would end up going down the mundane ‘Evil Twin’ path, but you can see he truly cares about Gru, Lucy and the children and it was a pleasant surprise.
Agnes’s side story of finding her missing unicorn leads to the search of a real life unicorn after some half-drunk bartender gives her the information that one may exist. It truly is a treat to watch all them coming together more as whole family.
With two animated movies reaching a trilogy this week (Cars being the other), both third instalments have really turned the leaf on previous entries. Despicable Me 3 reaches the heights of the original and despite its real lack of any real originality and the attempt at having Trey Parker as an Eighties villain that we all love (the music is great but if I hear the words “I’ve been a really bad boy” one more time I will break down and cry), Despicable Me 3 succeeds in being tastefully and despicably bad in all the right ways.
Review Score: THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Despicable Me 3 is in Australian cinemas now!