It is rare for a movie franchise to get better with each film. While I enjoyed the first film, I loved the second one and I found this one to be the perfect film in the franchise. After the gigantic success of Despicable Me 2, it seemed near impossible to beat it, but the team at Universal have outdone themselves. More laughs, more gags, less Minion screen time and the introduction of Gru’s brother Dru (also voiced by Steve Carell) sees the film focus on family values. Everything in this film is dialled up to eleven and delivers the best film in the Despicable Me franchise.
Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristin Wiig) are sacked from the Anti-Villain League when Gru received a message from his twin brother he didn’t know he had. Dru lives in a place called Freedonia, a picturesque town right out of a fairtyle. He does also work in the villain business and Gru convinces him to steal back the world’s most valuable diamond from Bratt (Trey Parker) an 80’s nostalgic loving who’s hit child sitcom got cancelled when he hit puberty is mad at Hollywood. His shoulder and knee pads and bubblegum popping demeanour is a great character for children of the late 80’s.
The minions get a side mission in this film after being led by Mel on a revolt against Gru and his changed ways, while their Looney Tunes style is dialled up in this film, their appearance in here proves just why the Minions movie didn’t work. They are great in small doses and reliant upon their human counterparts to be funny and effective.
Lucy attempts to bond with the three girls while Dru and Gru re-discover each other and attempt to stop Bratt and earn the respect of their ex-boss Valeria Da Vinci (Jenny Slate) and get back into the Anti Villian League. The three girls still have a part to play in this film, in particular Agnes leading the team on a mission to track down a real life unicorn.
Visually the studio Illumination have been on a journey with the beauty of New York City in the Secret Life Of Pets to the detailed animals and water effects in Sing, Despicable Me 3 takes them up to another level with gorgeous colours and explosions that combine with the exemplementary soundtrack chock full of 80’s nostalgia like Madonna, Aha, Prince and Michael Jackson.
Overall Despicable Me 3 delivers a solid animated film continuing the string of hits from Illumination and Universal. The story is fresh and the comedy solid with new players like Jenny Slate and Trey Parker. Despite all of the laughs and gags, their is still a large heart at the core of this story and this helps the film succeed. A catchy soundtrack and eye popping visuals put this film in animation blockbuster territory. If you are a fan of the previous films you will revel in the joy of this third instalment, and for any newcomers you don’t need to have seen the last 2 to follow it (although it does help you catch the in jokes) Despicable Me 3 is Illumination’s masterpiece and has a strong contender for animated film of the year.
Despicable Me 3 is in cinemas now
Review by Alaisdair Leith