Prisoner of Love
Despicable Me 3 (2017): 6 out of 10: Despicable Me 3 continues the adventures of (now former) supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) who with his wife (Kristen Wiig) and his army of Minions while they fight crime. They are doing battle against former eighties child star and supervillain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) who is trying to steal a giant pink diamond in France.
The Good: I like the Minions. I have Minion characters on my checks from Costco and my address return labels. I have a couple of large minions that guard the dryer in the laundry room. I am not a middle-aged woman who drinks too much red wine, however, for me the Minions spark joy. When the minions are on the screen their antics are the funniest thing around (The jail bit in this film is downright inspired and almost saves the whole movie.)
Also a special kudos for the cutest “unicorn” I have ever seen on film (Take note The Last Unicorn). In fact, the entire film is cute, colorful and very kid-friendly. (The main bad guy’s superweapon is expanding bubble gum.)
The Bad: Let’s start with a quote from the first Despicable Me… (Sees Edith near his iron maiden) Gru: No, no! Stay away from there! It’s fragile! (the iron maiden closes with Edith inside; a red liquid leaks from underneath; Margo and Agnes gasp) Gru: Well, I suppose the plan will work with two.
I missed this Gru in Despicable Me 2 and he is long gone in Despicable Me 3. Gru simply works better as a despicable villain with an occasional soft spot rather than a big softy who only does villain stuff because that is what is on his CV and the mortgage is due.
There are also too many subplots in the film. The Minions are spun off for most of the flick, so their scenes cannot do double duty for the rest of the plot. Obvious jokes that the writers initially would have had (The villain is stealing the Pink Panther after all) were cut for time. It leads to a choppy, meanwhile in another movie, vibe.
In conclusion: This is the weakest of the Despicable Me films (Yes weaker than even The Minions movie). It also made over one billion dollars. This is not even including the ridiculous monies the merchandising made. Needless to say, we should look forward to many more efforts down the line.