By Allison Skornick-Rose
Jun 29, 2017 10:27 AM EST

Despicable Me 3 Theatrical Review

Despicable Me 3 has a lot going for it yet, somehow, it just doesn’t have the same feel as the first two films and drags a little.
Despicable Me 3 Theatrical Review
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Let's face it… Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures hit gold back in 2010 when the first Despicable Me movie made its way into theaters.  With great characters, funny lines and a solid story, it delighted audiences, especially the adorable little yellow Minions.  Due to its success, it was followed in 2013 by its sequel along with the spinoff films starring the Minions. It spawned a plethora of merchandising opportunities and the Minions even have their own amusement park ride.  This year, in anticipation of the July 4th holiday, Gru (Steve Carell; The Office), Lucy (Kristen Wiig; Bridesmaids), the girls and all the Minions are back in Despicable Me 3.

After marrying Lucy, Gru turned from a life of crime to a secret agent bringing justice to the world.  However, when his nemesis Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker; South Park) slips through his fingers yet again, Gru is fired by the new head of the AVL.  Without a job and unsure of what to do, he gets an unexpected visit and discovers he has a twin brother, Dru (Carell) who needs Gru's help.  So Gru, Lucy and the girls head to Fredonia to meet this long lost family member.

Living in a big house as a successful pig farmer, Dru has a secret that their father, who Gru thought had died, was actually a successful villain.  Now that he has passed away, Dru wants Gru to show him how to be a villain but Gru explains he left all that behind for marriage and kids.  However, When Bratt steals the most expensive Diamond in the world, the brothers go on a quest to steal it back.  Along the way they have their bumps and bruises but ultimately come to an emotional reconciliation.

One thing the film has going for it is its talented cast.  Carell is excellent at his voiceover work and Gru is a well know and recognizable character.  His turn at Dru is also well done, as he makes two distinct but similar voices.  Wiig is great as Lucy and her voice has a warm tone to it that is appealing.  Parker's Bratt has a rougher edge which is perfect for the villain he plays.  Of the three girls, Nev Scharrel's (Clippings) Agnes is absolutely adorable and she manages to steal the show a few times.  Of course, those adorable little, yellow guys –the Minions- are very much the scene stealers as well, though they don't appear too much throughout the hour and a half running time.

The soundtrack, filled with ‘80's pop tunes and original songs from Pharrell Williams, adds to the overall upbeat feel of the film and gives off an aura of general happiness. The animation is excellent but I expect no less from an Illuminations Production.  Vibrant colors permeate the screen making everything bright and joyous.

The film has a lot going for it yet, somehow, it just doesn't have the same feel as the first two films and drags a little.  While it offers up a few laughs, there wasn't enough to offset the moments that lag in between.  I didn't especially like the Balthazar Bratt character and found him rather annoying, which may have diminished my enthusiasm for the movie.  Carell has stated he doesn't know that he would reprise his role as Gru in a fourth film (but did insist he would be willing to do a cameo in future Minions movies) and I think he makes a wise choice. 

While I love the Minions and the Girls (especially Agnes) and I like the family aspect of them, Lucy and Gru, I just didn't like this third installment as much as I did the first two. However, if you are a fan and have little ones, you should take some time this summer and make a family outing to the movie.

Grade: C-

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MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 90 minutes
Distributed By: Universal Pictures

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