Gru reunites with his long-lost brother Dru, and the lovable minions – kinda – with the fun humor and gags of the Despicable Me films in Despicable Me 3. The film will be fun for kids, but slapstick humor needs more story and character support to keep adults entertained. 80s music snippets aren’t enough.
After a failed attempt at stopping the 80s loving villain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) from stealing the world’s most expensive diamond, Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are fired from their jobs at the Anti-Villain League.
When Gru doesn’t turn back to villainy, this disappoints the minions, who leave him. The minions eventually get arrested for infiltrating a talent set, and are put in jail, leading to all the Gru Life jailed minion posters all over LA. Gru then discovers his long lost brother Dru, whom his mother (Julie Andrews) had been keeping a secret from him.
Dru persuades Gru to team up to get revenge on Balthazar Bratt: steal the diamond back, and get their jobs back. Gru, Lucy, and Dru battle Balthazar on his rampage of Hollywood to get revenge on corporate suits who rejected him earlier in his career. The minions join the battle to help finally defeat Balthazar, with a 80s dance off to help. Jam on!
The film is fun, but we have three big wish lists for the film:
1. MORE MINIONS!
It’s refreshing to see Gru reunited with the minions in this film, after the Minions movie. The minions are the comedic relief to Gru’s “guys, guys!” The Minions movie starring just the minions was too slapstick, and didn’t work that well storywise or at the box office. So you’re hoping for more Gru and the minions with this film.
However, the reunion with Gru is short lived in Despicable Me 3, as the Minions leave him for half the film, and get stuck in jail. Movies always fail when a main character is stuck in jail for more than five-ten minutes of screen time. Who wants to see their favorite characters in jail? What a wasted reunion. Yes, the minions break out of jail to help Gru at the end, but we’d rather see more of Gru and the minions throughout. Their hilarious relationship is the cornerstone of the films. Audiences would much rather see Gru and the minions than Gru and his awkward brother Dru, who hogs up most of the film. MORE MINIONS!
2. GIVE FEMALE CHARACTERS LUCY AND THE GIRLS SOMETHING TO DO
Sadly, Lucy and the girls Margo, Edith, and Agnes aren’t given much to do. Agnes and Edith team up to find a fluffy unicorn, which turns out to be a one-horned goat. Why unicorns can’t exist in a world of minions and evil villains is a bit of a mystery. GIVE AGNES HER FLUFFY UNICORN IRL!!
All Margo gets to do is refuse the advances of an awkward teen boy. Hardly a compelling storyline.
Lucy, who’s become the de facto mom, tries to bond with the three girls over the film, which is one of the stronger character arcs during the film.
After three films, it would be nice if the female characters had a stronger role in the film. Gru’s daughters are typically relegated to aw cute comic relief, or just need to be rescued. Agnes’ adventure to find a unicorn starts off as promising, but the story line doesn’t really tie into defeating Balthazar, so falls flat. Why introduce and feature Gru’s brother Dru, who’s awkward and uncomfortable in every scene, instead of develop characters the audience wants to get to know more?
Hopefully in the next film, Lucy and the girls will be given storylines that actually contribute to the plot of the film, instead of side stories that don’t impact the outcome.
3. MORE HUMOR!
Yes there are several laugh out loud moments. But also several cringeworthy humor moments, mostly any time creepy brother Dru is on camera. And a few roll-your eye moments. More Gru-minion interaction would help.
Illumination’s digital animation is typical of the series, with high energy action and a colorful palette.
All the actors do an excellent job with voice acting, most notably Trey Parker co-creator of South Park, in his first voice acting role beyond South Park.
Overall, kids will love this film. Hopefully in the future, the next Despicable Me film will focus not on international adventures or weird long-lost relatives, but on Gru, the minions and his daughters we loved in the first film.
If you want more Despicable Me 3 in real life, you can visit Universal Studios Hollywood’s Despicable Me ride, and take pics with Gru’s brother Dru and the minions. Dru in real life is as creepy as the films.