Despicable Me 3 (2017)
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The plot was ... pretty stupid. Not stupid in a comedic way - but stupid in a "that makes no sense" way. There was no notable character progression, the minions were a snooze and the newly introduced characters made no sense. Shedding light on Grus past might have been interesting, especially since there was the scene of a young Gru in the minions movie - but instead we got a kind of family reunion with little to no impact at all. So they just got to know each other - and they like each other .. well, good. Thats it.
The villain - the most important part of such a movie - was rather weak, too for my taste. Memorable in design and behaviour, but rather weak in terms of motivation and threat. (considering Gru had to deal with a genius villain that was trying to steal the moon in the first movie ... the villain in the 3rd was just a substantial step down)
Jokes fell mostly flat - but there weren't many for an adult audience.
I d say - a nice movie for kids, but in contrast to some of the classic pixar movies ... not for adults.
When the family lands in Freedonia, the movie descends into a series of fun but thematically incongruous vignettes. Gru bonds with his brother over Dru's desire to become a villain, Lucy fails, succeeds and fails again to become a mother figure to the three girls, Agnes, the youngest of the three tries to capture a unicorn, Balthazar Bratt sees his plans for world domination come to near-fruition and the Minions...well let's just say they have their own thing going as well.
About half of all this busy, busy, business works at least as far as furthering the plot. The fact that none of the film's insanity really coalesces into a compelling whole, only makes the film feel more like a mediocre sitcom episode than an actual movie. Yet as far as inspired moments of slapstick, Despicable Me 3 supplies a little bit more than is to be expected. One highlight involves Gru and Dru driving around the Freedonian countryside in a golden-plated mean machine while police follow while riding literal pigs. Parents will find these comedic bits more amusing than funny but the kids, the kids will be rolling up and down the aisles.
And isn't that what this movie is ultimately about? To provide entertainment to children? While I don't necessarily condone families watching kid's films for their own sake (and this one in particular is all over the map as far as messaging), there's not really all that much to object about here. Despicable Me 3 is at its core a thoughtless but entertaining jumble of sights, sounds and goofiness. Thankfully unlike your racist aunt, Illumination Entertainment has not used the Minions for nefarious purposes...at least not yet.
I think that they need to stop milking this franchise because Despicable Me is just getting worse and worse with each movie and short and from the cliffhanger in the end, I could tell that there's probably going to be a fourth one about Dru's career as a villain. And what's going to happen? Dru and maybe even Gru are going to meet their dad who they haven't seen in a long time and maybe bring him into the family? Are the girls going to find out that their biological parents abandoned them and leave Gru to live with their parents? And what if they make a T.V. series?
None of the characters I thought were very good and are shadows of their former selves. The new characters, Evil Bratt is obvious and Dru is an unnecessary character, he caused trouble for Gru and doesn't even know how to drive yet he has a car. Lucy is annoying with how aggressive and hyper she acts and an unnecessary mom and teammate of Gru and she and Gru are burdening a 6-year-old little girl with stuff about work. Which I think is too much for a 6 year old to comprehend. Not to mention, the kids act too precocious now. Like how could a 6-year-old girl know how to cook soup? She also sold her unicorn, well, Despicable Me is dead now. Isn't she too young to be even thinking about businesses anyway? And she adopts a goat? Why would she adopt a wild animal? And the minions are now more annoying trouble-makers than ever.
There are too many popular songs in there. But I really loved the end credits song. This movie is kind of like a rehash of Despicable Me 1, 2, and Minions. A villain causes destruction to the town towards the end, the girls get kidnapped by the villain, and a boy falls in love with Margo and even talks about getting engaged with her even though they're too young. And he also does embarrassing things such as smooching all over her.
Edith's voice actor sounded a bit too old for her age.
There are a few good things to say about this film, the action scenes are alright, there were some heart-warming moments between Gru and Dru and I like how they help each other, and I also like how they got three different stories going on, one about Lucy and the girls, one about the Minions, and one about Gru and Dru being spies. Agnes's new voice actor did pretty good on her character and I think she sounds kind of like Elsie Fischer, but I still miss Elsie Fischer's sweet, babyish voice but she no longer has that voice.
This movie was clichéd, silly, cartoonish, predictable, slow, and therefore boring. I barely laughed at even one part, the humor was lowbrow and the dialogue foolish. And I can probably guess what the fourth one is going to be about and that there may be a fifth one.
This movie was weighed down by a lot of problems, but before I get to that I will say that I did not hate this film by any means, it's just not very good.
1. The whole "brother" concept is good, but it shouldn't have been set up in this movie. It should have been set up in the first one, or the end of the second at the latest.
2. This problem I refer to as "the politics of film," because the studio did not acknowledge that they are going to far with this series. The minions stole the show in the first one, however the studio kept pushing it on audiences by over-commercializing them. They somehow became the face of Illumination Studios, and they somehow managed to get their own unnecessary origin story movie. Universal should've stopped while they were ahead with the first Despicable Me.
3. I do not like it when a series will reuse jokes, in this case the "unicorn being so fluffy I'm going to die." It was funny in the first one, but in this one it felt forced.
4. The villain, Balthazar Bratt, felt way too underdeveloped. He got about four minutes of an origin, which resulted in vague motivations and just another generic, one-off villain.
Overall: Save yourself from this mess
But this one? It's as if the writers had the plot then later realized they needed the tricks, and in they went, one by one, arbitrarily, with no real imagination or thought. You can hear the director saying, "ok, insert a trick here, then there, and there, then there." With a 90-minute run-time, there were actually five stories going on: the brothers, the unicorn search, the minions' imprisonment, the engagement segment (involving the oldest child, age 12!), and the Brat. Two are eventually irrelevant and unresolved, while the other three meet in the end, but in a forced "we have to write it this way or the movie has no ending" sort of way.
The premise was interesting - long-lost twin brother wants to resuscitate the family tradition of villainy vs. Gru's new home-bound stability. But the execution was just mediocre, if that. Light laughs, an LOL or two, but that's it.
The minions stole the show.