Review – Despicable Me 3

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Copyright empirecinema.com

Despicable Me 3 (Universal, Illumination) Cert U, 90 mins

Aargh I really don’t wanna write this review…can I just skip it? Is that ok with everyone? I think it’s for the best. I don’t really have a bad bone in my body and it’s going to be a bit of a mean review if I write it…the blog equivalent of stealing from cute puppies and babies. I just don’t know if I have it in me to take down this one.

You’re right. I am a grown man. I should just get on with it. Thanks for the wake up call.

Despicable Me 3 is not very good. There I said it.

They should have left it after number two and let the Minions have all the glory. There I said it again.

Let’s be honest – the Minions are for most people what these films are all about. Love or hate the little yellow fools they are everywhere for a reason. They are silly in the extreme and even though everything they say is pretty much nonsense the Minions are classic animated characters.

They were the breakout stars of the first movie, the main focus of the second and they’ve had their own spin-off film. It’s the Minions that gave this franchise legs. Sure the main character Gru voiced by Steve Carell is funny but it’s really still all about the Minions. Always has been, always will be.

They are around in Despicable Me 3 but not as much as the other films and it’s a bit of a loss. The film struggles without them. Perhaps the studio were not as keen to overload everyone with Minions because they’ve got another movie of their own coming out in the next couple of years.

The story itself has plenty of potential but it’s badly handled and nothing like as funny as the first two films. It’s all over the place and can’t decide what it wants to be.

Of course we have to remember this is a film for kids ultimately. I’m a 41-year-old man and I’m fairly certain I’m not the demographic the makers are pitching for. But animation is for all ages and the best ones have something for all.

Positives are the excellent animation and quality voice work of Carell and South Park alumni Trey Parker who provides the voice of villain Balthazar Bratt. That character is a failed child star from the 1980s and with his ridiculous clothing and 80s dance moves there was a real chance to bust out a lot of comedy related to the era. Sadly it’s an opportunity which is barely touched on.

If the constant shifting of the kids in the screening I went to was anything to go by then this film is not one that is holding their attention. There’s a disappointing lack of silliness on display and I found myself drifting off during the movie which is always a bad sign.

Summary:

Missed opportunities and missing Minions cripple Despicable Me 3. There’s a lack of the quality seen in the earlier films in the franchise and it wanders through various plots and sub-plots without much thought or direction. Just because it’s for kids doesn’t mean it should wander like that. I think grown ups and kids will struggle with this. It’ll make money but will it have the legs to match the other films…we shall see. Must do better next time!

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