Despicable Me 3
Directed by: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon
Screenplay by: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker

Review by Brooke Ali

A third in a trilogy can be tricky; what can the creators say about their characters that hasn’t already been said in the first two films? What new-yet-familiar situations can they devise for the story? While Despicable Me 3 may not have the heart of the first movie, it does a decent job of keeping the franchise going.

Gru (Steve Carell) and his new wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are still secret agents working for the Anti-Villain League – until they let the AVL’s most wanted villain, Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) escape, and are subsequently fired. Into Gru’s newly directionless life comes an invitation from his long-lost twin brother, Dru (Steve Carell), to visit him in (presumably) their birthplace, Freedonia. At first excited at the prospect of having a brother, he quickly becomes dismayed at how much more charming and successful he seems. This changes when Dru admits the family secret, that their father was a super villain. The pair decide to team up for a heist together, to steal the diamond back from Balthazar Bratt.

Steve Carrell does an admirable job of voicing two characters. He manages to strike a good balance between keeping their voices distinct, yet undeniably related. Dru is set up to be a seeming antithesis to Gru: light, playful, and a bit immature to Gru’s grumpiness and asocial attitude. Kristen Wiig puts in a solid performance as Lucy, getting opportunities to be a kick ass agent, but also experience uncertainty in her new role as a mom. Trey Parker really nails it as ’80s obsessed Bratt and truly leans in to all the nostalgia references and jokes. Although the maniacal energy he gives to the character can be a bit much at times, he completely embodies the character and I truly couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role.

While it returns to its roots as a heist movie, Despicable Me 3 is a movie about family. Gru must once again find room in his life, and in his heart, for another family member – the brief scene with his mother (voiced by Julie Andrews) reminds us why that’s so difficult for him. Meanwhile, Lucy is struggling to find her footing as a mom to three spirited young girls. The two stories come together at the end in a way that’s satisfying and leaves things open for the possibility of another sequel. I’m a sucker for good end credits animation, and this one did a cute Spy vs Spy series that kept me smiling for a few more minutes after the film ended.

Despicable Me 3 Blu-ray Special Features:

  • Mini-Movie: The Secret Life of Kyle
  • Minion Moments
  • Deleted Scene
  • Music video for Pharrel’s “Yellow Light”
  • Character Profiles and More…

Watch It! My 4 year-olds, life-long fans of the movies, enjoyed it. Nolan, predictably, liked the minions best. Kayden, repping twins, liked Dru and how the brothers worked together to catch the bad guy. While there are certainly some plot holes, recycled gags, and jokes that fell flat, it’s still a decent addition to the franchise and if you liked the other Despicable Me movies, you’ll probably like this one too.

Brooke Ali
Brooke grew up in Nova Scotia on a steady diet of scifi, fantasy, anime, and video games. She now works as a genealogist and lives in Toronto with her husband and twin nerds-in-training. When she's not reading and writing about geek culture, she's knitting, spinning, and writing about social history.

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