Review: Despicable Me 3 – A Dastardly Disaster of 80s Delight

With the increasing domination of those little yellow bastards known as Minions, it’s entirely possible that the world may end, not at the whims of President Trump, but rather due to a mass suicide undertaken in response to the Minion-esque takeover of our lives.

But until that day is upon us, I will continue to endure, like P.L. Travers did, in an almighty struggle against such animated fare in order that you, my friends, will not have to suffer such travesties.

So, with that in mind, lets take an unbiased look at Despicable Me 3!

Despicable-Me-3

Still working for the Anti-Villain League, Gru (Steve Caroll) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) spend their days trying to bring villains to justice.

Having been unable to stop notorious 80s influenced super villain, Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) from stealing the world’s largest diamond; Gru and Lucy are summarily fired for their failure.

As deep depression sets in, Gru soon finds out he has a secret twin brother called Dru (also Steve Caroll). Happily accepting an invite, Gru, Lucy, and their three daughters all set off to find out more about their new relative.

While it may be inappropriate to cast aspersions upon the creative process for DM3, it’s hard not to feel there may have been a “throw everything against a wall and see what sticks” type of attitude when crafting this 90 minute misfire.

Undeniably the single biggest flaw of this movie is that lack of focus. With at least five separate plot-lines, there’s a sense that a story arc was chosen for each major audience group, and shoved in without any thought to its suitability. Action for the boys, unicorns for the girls, a mother-daughter relationship and 80s villain for the parents, Minions for the dunderheads, and a long-lost brother for… the people who have long lost siblings?

As one of only two new main characters, twin brother Dru ends up being noble in idea, but utterly tragic in execution. With barely a personality of his own, Dru really is nothing more than a carbon copy of Gru with hair. While I’m sure there’s someone who’ll get a kick out of essentially watching Steve Caroll talk to himself for 90 minutes; for the rest of the brain-appreciating populace, this new character is about as useful as a nun at a dick sucking contest.

Despicable-Me-3

Indeed, this decision to explore Gru’s emotional state through a long lost brother backfires considerably. Whilst the first two films weren’t going to be giving Pixar any sleepless nights, there was a sense of charm as they attempted to explore aspects of the human condition that the average person might be able to emphasise with.

For example, in the original Despicable Me, we watched how an underdog came to terms with becoming a father; while the follow up explored him falling in love and trying to provide a mother for his children.

Whilst this third installment makes fleeting attempts to address similar aspects, such as Lucy tackling the challenge of being a step-mother; the plot’s main drive being focused on Gru and Dru makes the proceedings rather lifeless. If anything, it would have been far more interesting to age up the daughters and have Gru and Lucy try to deal with teenagehood; a challenge that would have been far more relevant to audience members both young and old.

But what saves this movie from being remembered as animated excrement is the introduction of 80s villain Balthazar Bratt, a former child star voiced by South Park veteran Trey Parker. With reckless abandon, the character moonwalks with humour and enthusiasm into every moment he appears on screen. It’s only a shame that his storyline is very much a supporting one.


Ultimately, none of these flaws will matter to the swarm of kids that have propelled the Despicable Me franchise to one of the most profitable of all time. While the scintillating 80s villain is somewhat of a saving grace, if you are forced to take your children to this cinematic abomination, consider attaching your nipples to a portable car battery.

It will be less painful than what you see on screen.

Overall Score:

2stars

Photo Credits: Den of Geek, Screenrant, NME

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