I had such high hopes for Despicable Me 3. From the trailer it looked like the plot was solid – Gru was tempted to get back to his criminal past. That fits for me. I loved the first Despicable Me but wasn’t too keen on the second one. The charm of the franchise is Gru being this awkward criminal mastermind who has to deal things that a normal person would find easy but he finds impossible. So the third, I felt, might be getting back to that. I enjoyed watching all 90 minutes of Despicable 3. There really was no part of Despicable Me I didn’t like.
Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.
My favorite part of Despicable Me was the character design and animation. Everything was so cute- the minions, the piggies, the girls. Everything. You could tell what the characters were thinking by the way they held themselves. There were tiny little movements that foreshadowed action so when something might happen that surprised the characters, the audience knew exactly what was going on. So many visual gags. You could watch the entire thing without sound and still have a fairly exact idea of what they are saying.
Not that you would want to – the voice acting was top notch. I love Steve Carell’s voice as Gru – it feels like I know someone who talks exactly like this, except that I don’t. It’s just that authentic somehow. Trey Parker as Balthazar Bratt was excellent too and I always love Kristen Wiig. No surprise the Minions voices were also at the top of my list. Of all the fictional languages, I think Minion-ese is my favorite. It’s so cute and you can tell exactly what they’re saying even though you can’t understand a word of it.
The thing I had trouble with Despicable Me 3 was the fact that it was really only about an hour long. Oh yes, it had 90 minutes of screen-time, but that was mostly due to some cute and amusing subplots that mainly were about how adorable and hilarious the characters were. The main plot was good but there just wasn’t enough of it. It was like they hired a team of amazing writers for a day to set up ALL the important stuff and then left the junior intern writers to actually write the thing and make the plot work. It mostly did work, especially with the stunning visuals. But it was like having a meal that is entirely candy – an experience I can’t recommend to anyone, no matter how good the idea seems at the time.
So is Despicable Me 3 worth watching? Probably, yes, I would say so. You could do much worse with a family friendly movie and it is legitimately funny. I love the interplay between Gru and his brother and I like the conflicted moments where Gru finds himself good at (and missing) a part of his life he can’t have anymore. Everything you will see is well done. Except that it is almost entirely forgettable. I think they were as close as it was possible to get to recapturing the greatness of the first film without actually doing it.
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