Despicable Me 3 movie review: Hoped for a unicorn, got a one-horned goat
Despicable Me 3
Directors: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon
Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker
Seven years ago, when we saw the first installment of the Despicable Me franchise, perhaps no one could’ve imagined it’d go on to make $1.5 billion. That is if you don’t count the additional $1 billion made by the spin-off Minions movie.
Seven years ago, the story of wannabe villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his decision to give up a life of crime and give a family to three orphaned girls did melt our hearts. However, the biggest takeaway was just how hillarious the yellow Spanish-hybrid speaking things were.
Kids began to worship the Minions, Facebook moms made unrelated ‘good morning’ messages. In a matter of days, they were everywhere: Lunch boxes, cellphone covers, even toilet plungers.
Now, after seven years of stuffing our noses in Minions, Illumination decided it was time to put Gru back in the spotlight. Despicable Me 3 brings back what drew us to the franchise in the first place: A sweet story of bad man turning good for the love of his family.
While Gru takes in the girls in the first part and finds love in second, this one has him meet a twin brother Dru he never knew existed. Sure, it does sound like it just spilled out of one of Ekta Kapoor’s TV serials, but you don’t mind it. Gru goes through a wide range of opinions about Dru, from being excited to meet him to being jealous on seeing his full head of hair to revisiting his days of crime by stealing candies together.
Dru tries to lure him back to villainy while Gru struggles to include him in his family while being aware that his life as a villain is done and dusted. He has to love him like a brother while not disappointing him with the choices he has made.
Lucy, voiced by Kristen Wiig, wants to win over the girls and be their ‘mom’. Her part of the story gives the film its moments of sugary sweetness.
A thousand praises on Illumination for keeping the Minions down to the very minimum. In the few scenes they are employed, they do manage to bring in laughter. The best being their time as a ruthless prison gang, snapping fingers on unison as they abuse fellow convicts. The scene at the singing talent show could’ve have been avoided.
However, that doesn’t mean that Despicable Me 3 sacrifices on the fun. There is still a flamboyant villain making things difficult for Gru. Trey Parker’s Balthazar Bratt dances to Michael Jackson and vogues to Madonna as he pulls heists, has the most miserable haircut, even for a villain of an animated movie and just casually steals diamonds in a Gérard Depardieu fat suit. The film fits in quite a few pop culture jokes and a dig at Hollywood itself through him.
Agnes, quite possibly the cutest thing to ever get animated, goes looking for a unicorn in a wholesome, adorable little adventure but ends up with something no one can ever complain about. Fluffy unicorn got nothing on this baby.
The soundtrack, with all the throwback hits from the ‘80s, gets you tapping your feet more often. However, even with all the work done by Pharell Williams on this one, he couldn’t deliver another Happy like last time.
Have we seen better animated films? Without a doubt, yes. Have we seen a better film in the same franchise? Definitely. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this too is 1.5 hours of silly fun with a filling of marshmallowy niceness. Yes, it could’ve been better, it could have been a unicorn but we too, like Agnes, are pretty happy with this one-horned goat we found in the woods.