Despicable Me 3 Review
Making up for the disappointing Minions, Despicable Me 3 returns the franchise to the highs of the first two outings.Third outings can be quite hit and miss, but animation powerhouse Pixar delivered the goods with Toy Story 3, leaving smaller-scale Universal-backed Illumination looking to follow up with their third Despicable entry. Thankfully, the end result is everything you could have hoped for.With Anti-Villain-League Agent Gru facing unemployment, striking Minions and a dastardly child TV-star villain who is still stuck in the 80s, he couldn't be in a better place to find out that he's got a long-lost twin brother who lives in a mansion and has hair...
Despicable Me 3 flows along at a frenetic pace, with an opening sequence that introduces us to an excellent new character in inspired villain Balthazar Bratt (whose voice sounds more like Ben Stiller than Trey Parker), busting Michael Jackson moves and challenging opponents to dance fights. Indeed the character almost feels under-utilised but, on the other hand, thankfully doesn't overstay his welcome, providing for the highlights of the feature, particularly for older generations accompanying their kids to see the movie. It's an opportunity to revel in the 80s references whilst your little ones just love the colours and silly dance moves.
The balance between adult references and child-friendly humour, family beats and Minion mischief, is perfectly maintained, threatening to best the second film at times with an efficiency and spark that seldom misses a beat. Minion West Side Story is hilarious, whilst the kids' quest for the unicorn is surprisingly well-handled (as is the motherhood angle).
This is one of the best child-and-adult friendly animation franchises
It's Steve Carrell's baby, though, getting double voice credits this time around, and managing them so well that you wonder whether they got somebody else to play his twin. Wiig scrambles to keep up, and there's barely another famous voice actor in the cast (apart from the man-who-sounds-like-Ben Stiller). The animation just keeps getting better - the giant robot sequence looking positively live-action - showing just how much things have improved over the last 7 years, and thankfully the narrative naturally evolves into a series of increasingly impressive setpieces without feeling like it was always desperately careening towards an MCU-style world-destroying finale (although there is a great Ultron reference, with added bubble-gum).
The Despicable Me series retains its position as one of the best child-and-adult-friendly animation franchises (a challenging task, particularly considering it's got much more of a comedy bent than anything Pixar has to offer). It maintains the excellent gadget-laden-action/humour/family drama beats mixture that has defined the series for years, and leaves the memory of Minions in the dust. Recommended.
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