Eyes Bigger Than Stomach
I can not really pinpoint the exact reason why I love the Despicable Me movies so much, they are just so darn lovable. From the cute children, to Steve Carell’s iconic voice, and of course the minions, this franchise has been one of my favorite despite sometimes going a bit too overboard with concepts. 2015’s Minions movies was not too keen on quality and was mainly made due to the iconography of the minions themselves. However, the first two Despicable Me movies are some of my favorite animated films blending heart and nonsensical humor perfectly that makes an enjoyable family film. Sadly, Despicable Me 3 does not follow the same trend as it suffers from a lack of a focused narrative and some franchise fatigue, but is still able to be successful upon its humor and small heartfelt moments.
The movie follows Gru (Steve Carell), Lucy (Kristen Wiig), and their three adorable daughters this time dealing with the fallout of a new villain on the rise, Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker). After being fired from their Anti-Villain jobs, Gru and Lucy try to find a way to redeem themselves and help their family survive. Gru also finds his long lost twin brother, Dru (Steve Carrell), and discovers more of his family’s past and tries to reconnect. The minions also find themselves in some trouble of their own, and Gru’s daughters navigate Dru’s city for adventure.
If the plot above seems a bit confusing and overstuffed, then you’re in the right mindset. There are so many plot points in this movie and none of them seem to reach a satisfying enough conclusion to make the movie cohesive. One minute we are seeing Gru trying to connect with his brother and the next we cut to the minions doing their own thing. There is a lack of focus this time around and it makes the movie a bit jarring for audiences. You will get invested in one arc and then the movie will cut to another without a satisfying end to the previous scene. The plot of this movie has too much going on to keep audiences invested.
With that being said, the movie is well paced. The plots move along fast enough to not make you bored while watching it. This movie is one hour and thirty minutes long and it definitely feels shorter than that due to how well the movie moves. Even though the movie may feel a bit imbalanced, it is nice and short to provide some value to a family setting.
The humor in this movie is still good, however it also does seem tired at times. The minions are always entertaining and one scene when they are in prison had me laughing pretty hard. But other than that, the minions start to come across as a bit annoying especially when the movie randomly cuts away to their story instead of keeping the narrative focused on Gru. However, Balthazar Bratt is a standout for comedic relief. He is a character who is stuck in the 80’s era and he brings that physicality and style that brings some good chuckles when he is on screen. Sadly, he does not get enough focus for us to truly care about him which is disappointing when he nearly steals every scene he is in.
Heart is another thing that makes animated movies successful, but Despicable Me 3 does not pack the same punch as the previous two installments. The first film had Gru learning to not be a villain and learn to be a father while the second focused on Gru finding love. This time around, Gru has found his lost brother which should make for some great heart felt moments for them, but they are never explored to give the movie the extra dimension it needs. As I said before, this is mainly due to the multitude of plot points going on in this movie. Thankfully, Gru’s relationship with his daughters provides some small moments that will tug at your heartstrings.
Despicable Me 3 is a fine entry in this franchise of films. It suffers mainly from too many plot points and not delivering satisfying conclusions to all of them. There is also a bit of fatigue when it comes to the minions and some jokes that fall flat. However, the movie is still able to get by on it’s small humorous and hearty moments that make the movie a decent watch for families. Balthazar Bratt is a standout in the movie as well as the minion’s shenanigans (depending on how much you tolerate them). If you are looking for something to do as a family, I would recommend this film but in the end it is more suited for younger audiences than its previous two fully realized installments.