Friday, June 30, 2017

Despicable Me 3 - Review

Let’s just get this out of the way first: Pixar is the king of animation. While other studios have their hits, they still don’t have the track record that Pixar does. So when a franchise as enjoyable as Despicable Me (excluding Minions) has been, the animation studio responsible, Illumination in this case, starts to garner expectations, however small they may be. And while Despicable Me (and the yellow things that come with it) is their crown jewel, sticking the landing on the third entry is easier said than done.

The mischievous Minions hope that Gru (Steve Carell) will return to a life of crime after the new boss of the Anti-Villain League fires him. Instead, Gru decides to remain retired and travel to Freedonia to meet his long-lost twin brother for the first time. The reunited siblings soon find themselves in an uneasy alliance to take down the elusive Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a former 1980s child star who seeks revenge against the world.

By the midpoint of the film, it’s clear that the film is running on fumes, dragging the plot along despite not having nearly the story that one would deem entertaining. And ultimately that’s the biggest negative here: the story lacks any charm or heart that the first entry had in spades and the second had to a lesser degree. It doesn’t need to be complex by any means but by the time the third act rolls around you’re left wondering how much actually happened that was worth seeing.

Thankfully, Steve Carell is back as the quite fun character of Gru and now we get a second performance when he voices the twin brother, Dru. The accent gets thicker each time out but the character retains the charm from the first movie even if the film around him doesn’t. Kristen Wiig gets stuck in a plot thread that doesn’t amount to much and is hardly interesting, but her voice work is still solid. And Trey Parker gets the most one note, though funny at times, villain with the most outlandish backstory and motif.

Having recently watched the first film and seeing this newest film, Illumination has clearly stepped up their animation game. The film looks great, much better than the first, and the improvements make the film a little more enjoyable than it be otherwise. That being said it doesn’t offer anything close to humor that hits every time. Wisely the minions are reduced to side role again, but even then their screen time and attempts at comedy fall flat.

Overall, Despicable Me 3 is flat ending to the otherwise enjoyable trilogy. It lacks anything interesting or humorous that justifies it’s existence but isn’t bad enough to be a complete trainwreck. What’s left is a middling and forgettable sequel that isn’t worth the time or effort.

So what did you think of Despicable Me 3? Have you seen it? Are you interested in seeing it? And how does it rank among the other entries in the franchise? Share, subscribe, comment below, and as always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight.

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