If you've seen the trailer for Despicable Me 3, then you've already seen about 10% of the movie already – as the scene where he is fighting Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker of South Park fame) is pretty much the opening. Illumination seem to have a habit of using the first scene as their trailers for some reason. But I digress.
Who is Balthazar Bratt I hear you ask? He's a child TV star who played a villain during the 80's – but when he hit puberty his career ended. Now he lives like his villain sake and goes off to take his revenge on the world. And he couldn't be any more 80's if he tried! From the snazzy getup, 80's music (including Michael Jackson and Van Halen amongst others) and even some classic synth style weapons, Bratt looks to capture a valuable diamond to use in a giant robot that will blast a laser beam across Hollywood, whilst giant bubblegum floats it into space. Because just blowing up the city was too much trouble, I guess?
Anyway, Gru has given up his villain life and is now working for the Anti-Villain League with his partner Lucy, who has moved in with him and the girls. But after failing to capture Bratt, the two of them are fired. But, Gru's luck seems to be changed when he finds out he has a twin brother – who wants to learn how to be a villain like Gru. So now Gru has to decide whether he wants to rejoin the world of villainy, or stop Bratt and get his and Lucy's job back.
Oh and the Minions go to prison for – reasons, and Agnes goes hunting for a real life unicorn.
It's pretty much the same sort of zany, non offensive comedy you'd expect from this series by now – and it is pretty much the same thing here. There seems to be a “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” vibe to the series, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The problem, however, is that you can take pretty much ANY scene from this film and put it into previous Despicable Me films and it will pretty much look exactly the same. That being said, I did get a chuckle from it more than once so it wasn't so bad.
I also liked how Lucy was given a larger role in this film, rather than just being a “love interest” for Gru in the previous film. Here, she tries to be the best mother she can to the girls, in a story matching Gru's move to fatherhood in the first one. It was pretty nice and it was great to see her interacting with the girls more. Of course, Gru never forgets his fatherly ways and is still every bit as devoted to them as in the previous films.
However, I have to say that Gru's brother Dru was quite possibly one of the most annoying characters in the whole film. He just overacted everything and it got tiresome after a while. I can't really narrow it down to one point, he was just – ugh! Not since Olaf in Frozen have I wished for a character to just die!
Strangely enough, the Minions didn't feature as much as previously. Here, the Minions break away from Gru and decided to go out on their own – sick of not doing any villainous deeds. But they are soon brought back by the end, and actually join forces with Dru at the end, hoping to carry on the family tradition. Yeah, that's all I can say about that.
In the end, Despicable Me 3 is pretty much the same as you get from previous films. However, if you enjoyed those films, you'll enjoy this one. If not then you may find the humour getting very tired very quickly. Myself, I think it's a bit of both. I liked it, didn't love it. But it was harmless.
One thing I thought was quite funny was a little easter egg that involved Gru, Lucy and the Minions zooming through the ocean to get to Bratt. They pass by some fish that look very similar to fish from another film about fish. And one of them goes missing as the Minions hit them. A dig at Pixar maybe?
In case you're not sure, it was a parody of Finding Nemo's Marlin, Dory and Nemo. It was a fun little easter egg – if not a little bit brutal. One has to wonder if Pixar will retaliate for that?
Anyway, I give Despicable Me 3, rather conveniently, 3 out of 5.