I can’t believe I didn’t hate this movie, but make no mistake, I’m not in love with it either. It was unnecessary to make, however, the villain, Balthazaar Bratt, was easily my favorite part and needed to be more of the focal point for Gru & Co. throughout this movie, but instead he was diminished by varying plot forks that ventured off into many side storylines delivering no real tangible payoffs. I know I probably shouldn’t delve too deeply in the third iteration of a children’s movie franchise that has been quite successful and spawned a spinoff, but after seeing the potential for Bratt who is in many ways Gru’s equal, I was hoping for more confrontations between the two but alas, I was treated to only two or three real moments. That sounds like it should be a small gripe, but if you’ve seen the film then you’ll understand the want for what could’ve been.
The main side story that I didn’t care for was involving the minions. Early on in the film, they decided to leave Gru in search of another leader that is more evil than their previously domesticated one. What results is a longer than needed side venture that finds the yellow miscreants in prison, singing and then back into the arms of their fearless leader. As I stated; unnecessary.
The introduction of Gru’s long lost twin brother, Dru, is another tired concept drug up from the pile of movie cliches that often occupy sequels. Dru is everything that Gru is not, which serves as a connecting point for the brothers as they realize they need each other in order to better themselves in their individual lives as well as their joint effort in taking down Bratt. Bratt serves as the big bad that is always one step ahead of Gru and draws his inspiration from the former TV show he used to star in as a child where he was an evil genius trying to take over the world. There are some great throwbacks to the made up show within the movie that are excellent and worth the price of admission alone. Bratt was the aspect of Despicable Me 3 that I found to be most interesting. Everything else was easily forgettable.
As for recommending this movie, if you haven’t seen it yet, to others, I can’t say that I would. While it was funny and heartwarming in spots, overall, it was just another kids movie with no real staying appeal to it. That is not to say it was awful. Believe me, there are worse out there, but Despicable Me 3 found itself on the wrong side of a sequel and the result is simply a mediocre effort with the occasional funny moment here and there.
Despicable Me 3 – 2 GARYS