Despicable Me 3 – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Despicable Me 3 – 3/5 – Animated films are a dime a dozen.  From every scope of the imagination, these films litter the landscape.  In most animated worlds, there are a lot of sequels.  Case in point, the Despicable Me franchisee.  These films have been filled with a lot of mixed enjoyment.  For all that may be, they still have some entertaining value.  That is a summation of what you will find in this third installment.  Despicable Me 3 returns us to the world of Gru, as he faces new challenges and more awkward situations.  With a mix of predictable settings, humor and rehashed storytelling, Despicable Me 3 is an average animated tale that provides enough chuckles for a good time.

Premise:  As Gru meets his twin brother, Dru, they must band together to stop the evil Balthazar Bratt.

At the heart of the film are the voice casts.  You can reference the list of actors/actresses at the IMDb page.  In short, all the voice actors (old and new) do a great job in providing interesting and fun depictions of CGI characters on the big screen.  Being that everything is built upon cartoonish designs, the actors/actress pull out stark personalities through their voice.  From Steve Carrell voicing Gru and his twin brother Dru, Kristin Wig as Lucy, Trey parker as Balthazar Bratt and the many other side characters; you feel their presence on screen.  No matter who is interacting, it is imaginative, witty and fun.  With no depth to the cliché animated archetypes, the voice actors must add that extra value.  This helps push them past the wooden labels, adding eccentric behaviors that create an adventurous tone.  The one thing this film does great is provide those lovable mascots known as the Minions.  These yellow creatures provide that ‘spark’ of true indulgent.  Taking strength in their ‘backseat’ mantra to Gru, there value is found in the simple but precisely use of their caricatures.  It is obvious they are only here for generic comic relief, but the situational setups and offbeat antics helps provide that adorable flavor that is expected in this series.

The direction unfolds in the same way as the previous entry (Despicable Me 2).  In it, it copies this generic outline:

Character progression from the second > new conflict introduced > save the world scenario

The only difference from is the introduction of the ‘odd family’ element; Gru having a twin brother.  With this added plot device, it creates a point of reference that generates some focus for the direction.  Even as this adds something different, the plot is still convoluted as it mixes the family dysfunction, sidekick’s journey and villain’s conquest into a linear narrative.  This causes a lot of disjointed scenes, making all the dialogue becoming forced expositional elements.  This leads into the predictable conflict of the generic ‘good vs. bad guy’.  This time, it is in the form of Gru/Dru vs. Balthazar Bratt.  Following this predictable path, the film’s progression becomes a redundant display of the goofy, physical and slapstick humor.  Even in that obvious use of comedy, the characters never cease to be colorful, witty and outright charming.  Once all the familiarity comes to head, we move into the third act. Here, it becomes even more predictable with the following formula:

Bad guy wants to destroy (insert generic big city) > Good guys band together for common cause > Over-the-top action sequences > Dramatic climax > Inevitable conclusion.

The final act and climax is a ripoff of the previous film’s ending.  The only difference is Gru is the ‘damsel in distress’ (instead of Lucy) and Dru saving the day.  Once the epilogue roles, the familiar setting helps bring closure, even if it is something we all expected.

The visuals are a bright spot in this film.  From the obscured design of the world, characters, imaginative weaponry and vehicles; you are never disappointed in the cinematography.  The fine detail makes you believe you are part of this ‘Despicable’ world.  The score is basic when it comes to animated films.

Despicable Me 3 may have a lot of repetitive elements from previous installments, but it still is an enjoyable ride.   If you’re a fan of this series at the least, I say go check this out.  This is worth going to a matinee, a fun time for you and your family.

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