Movie Review

Despicable Me 3

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Despicable Me 3

***½ out of five stars

The lovable animated rogue Gru and his entire crew are back in this latest installment in Universal’s Despicable Me series.

Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his newly married wife, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), have been working as agents for the Anti-Villain League but are fired after failing to stop Balthazar Bratt (South Park’s Trey Parker), a former child actor turned 1980s-obssessed super villain. But fate hands Gru a new hand when he finds out that he has a long lost twin brother named Dru (also Carell). The next thing they know, Gru, Lucy and their three daughters visit Dru at his mansion in a country called Freedonia. Elsewhere, most of Gru’s team of Minions (Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud) set off into the world to find their own futures. Back in Freedonia, Gru’s youngest daughter, Margo (Nev Scharrel) plans to find a unicorn, and Gru is assisted by Dru in a plot to get back at Bratt.

This viewer will disclose that he has yet to see the first two Despicable Me films but has seen the Minions spin-off film. So, as a relative newcomer to the franchise, I was mostly pleased with DM3. It is a very cute film, with moments involving Gru and Lucy’s adopted daughters being especially charming. Those who feel the Minions are overused may be pleased to know that they are largely relegated to a minor subplot. Less is certainly more in this case. Additionally, Gru’s bonding with long-lost brother Dru proves to be another charming aspect of the film.

Trey Parker’s turn as the villain Balthazar Bratt may be the strongest aspect of the film. It is always interesting to see Parker in non-South Park-related media, and he gives Bratt the necessary bravado and insanity. Bratt’s devices and clips of his old TV show are rendered with surprisingly realistic-looking CGI, a nice indication of how far technology has come since the days of Toy Story.

Despicable Me 3 should please fans of the series and those looking for a fun, animated family film. Third time is definitely a charm for this animated spy saga.

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