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Film Review: Despicable Me 3

09:03 June 30, 2017
By: David Vicari

The first two computer animated Despicable Me movies are enjoyable, while The Minions movie was just okay. Despicable Me 3 is definitely the weakest of the bunch. It's sloppy, with subplots that go nowhere, and the sweetness of Gru's relationship with his little daughters is gone. With the exception of a few mildly amusing moments, this film is pretty charmless.

After getting the ax from the Anti-Villain League, Gru (voice of Steve Carell) dabbles with the thought of going back to being a super villain. When he decides against it, his tiny yellow Minions revolt and quit working for him. Gru then finds out that he has a twin brother, Dru (also Carell, but at a higher pitch), who wants to be a bad guy. The true villain here is Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a former child star who grew up to become the real incarnation of his evil television persona.

This all comes off as very forced. Sight gags are mostly unfunny, particularly a mean-spirited reference to Finding Nemo in the opening. This “joke” will probably upset small children. I, for one, have always hated nasty gags in animated films. It's just the filmmakers desperately trying to appear edgy and hip.

The Minions, themselves, are rather scarce this time around and when they are on screen, their hijinks are pretty stale – they go to jail, take over the place in a brief, ineffectual montage, and sing a few songs in gibberish.

Because Bratt was a popular TV performer in the 1980s, there are '80s pop culture references ad nauseam. If hearing A-ha's song Take On Me is automatically funny, then this is the movie for you. I just found the Bratt character obnoxious. And I feel the same about Dru and his high-pitched squealing.

Look, we got two funny movies out of this franchise, but I think it is now time to call it quits. 

* ½  out of four

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