Two Are Better Than One

Despicable Me 3 

Voices Of: Steve Carell (Gru/Dru), Kristen Wiig (Lucy), Trey Parker (Bratt), Miranda Cosgrove (Margo), Dana Gaier (Edith), Nev Scharrel (Agnes), Julie Andrews (Gru/Dru's Mother), Pierre Coffin (voices of several Minions)
Directors: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda and Eric Guillion
Scriptwriters: Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio
Composers: Heitor Pereira and Pharrell Williams
Universal Pictures
Rating: PG with some peril and comic violence
Running Length: 100 minutes 

For those who couldn't wait for the next Minions film to be out, this is it. The little guys are back with a favorite villain/ex-villain, Gru  (voice of Steve Carell), and go into adventures both high and low. The first two “Despicable Me” films combined top-notch animation with good storylines (adopting children and saving the world), then finding romance (Lucy, and voiced by Kristen Wiig.) However---and here it comes, fans---the third film is lacking. Yes, lacking in a fundamental place---the villain. Balthazar Bratt (voice of Trey Parker). This guy is given much screen time and we have to go through his revenge antics over and over. Other villains had their screen time and there was a point to their villainy, but here, even the animation in his sections is strained and his robot sidekick (made of Legos? Who knows...) is undecipherable. What is clever in this plot is creating a twin brother for Gru called Dru, and giving a plausible background story. Steve Carell gives a good vocal performance as the twin brothers, each with their own personality. 

As the plot goes, Gru and Lucy work for the AVL (Anti-Villain League) and are out to catch master criminal, Balthazar Bratt, a former child star. Bratt lives in the past, clothes and music, too. He is trying to recapture his former glory by stealing a large pink diamond. Thus Bratt and Gru go back and forth over the rock. This involves the Minions who end up going on strike and leave Gru. Of course, they steal the movie, and one hopes for their own movie, again, in the future. The girls, Margo, Edith and Agnes, have their own plot, too, in search of a real unicorn for Agnes. Along the way, Gru discovers he has a twin brother, wealthy Dru (similar in shape but with curly blonde hair). Their mother comes into the story voiced by Julie Andrews. They battle with identity crisis as well as battle crooks, with Dru a crook-in-training. The best part of the film are the chase scenes with either Dru’s car or Gru’s car. Lucy? She is hoping to get closer to the girls and that is a story by itself. 

The soundtrack is from the 1980’s which is where Bratt seems to reside---his former glory. Sometimes overwhelming, there is a beat that carries through the film, even though Bratt’s scenes slow down a bit. The voices are right on target, with Carell voicing two brothers, Wiig the right amount of angst in Lucy’s voice, and the girls with their own identity.

 Children will enjoy this film as the character of Gru and the Minions are world-wide now and available on everything including stickers and girls purses. I liked the film, but wanted to reach up to the screen and switch Bratt off. Violence is of the comic style and the animated characters are more of the angular variety, and not Pixar. No one can understand the Minion language, but who cares, body language takes care of it. The hi-jinks are akin to The Three Stooges, except you multiply the Stooges by 12 or so. 


Copyright 2017 Marie Asner