Despicable Me 3
Illumination Entertainment is an absolute cash behemoth. They’ve only released seven films, but that has been enough to eclipse the likes of Dreamworks (which they bought through their parent company Universal) and become one of the premier animation studios in Hollywood. The core franchise, Despicable Me, is now back with their third film in the series (fourth if you count the Minions prequel).
Despicable Me 3 introduces us to a new villain: Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), who was once a child star in the 80s, but after having his show canceled when he hit puberty he declared revenge on Hollywood. What makes Bratt such a distinct villain, however, is that he’s still stuck in the 80s, moon dancing while he steals a diamond, and wearing shoulder-pads. Our protagonist Gru (Steve Carrell) and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are what stand in Bratt’s way to revenge. On a side, Gru also discovers he has a twin brother, Dru (also Steve Carrell) a wannabe villain with whom Gru decides to bond with.
To maintain this franchise fresh has been a difficult feat, the first two films were some of the most incredibly original and hilarious to have come out of the non-Pixar animators. However, we saw some creative fatigue, especially with Minions, and while Despicable Me 3 corrects a lot of the Minion mistakes (one of them being less minions), it still shows signs of the franchise losing steam.
That’s not to say that this film wasn’t enjoyable. It has the best villain out of any of the other films, as well as some notable morality lessons for the younger viewers, keeping with the theme and importance of family. There is also some notable character progression for Gru’s daughters and Lucy, which is a welcome sight for the future of the franchise. But that isn’t to say that you can’t see some rehash of previous concepts, or even some redundancy in the good jokes the film produces.
Overall, however, the Despicable Me behemoth is still going strong. Their third installment is worth the watch, especially for the parents to revel in the 80s centric villain, which will steal their every laugh along with every scene he’s in.