I am a big fan of the Despicable Me series. The first two films are some of my most favorite animated films. While Minions may not have been as good, they still keep me coming back.
Synopsis: After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother—a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps—one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad. (Universal Pictures)
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Trey Parker
Writers: Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio
Directors: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, and Eric Guillon
Running Time: 90mins
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. After two highly successful main films and a spinoff films, the series has roughly followed the same formula consisting of a simple story along with some fun humor usually provided by the minions. This new film, for whatever reason, decided to do something different by having a lot more going on than in previous films to the point that it feels completely different but not necessarily in a good way.
Most of the subplots were unnecessary as they simply bogged down the story as a whole. It went in many directions with varying degrees of success. Gru (Carell) and Lucy (Wiig) had to face a former 80s child star turned supervillain named Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker). Lucy, who was new to Gru and the girl’s family dynamic, had to learn to be a mother. Gru also learned about his family history which included a twin brother he never knew he had named Dru (Carell). Agnes (Nev Scharrel) was obsessed with finding a unicorn. Lastly, the minions (Coffin) were also out in the world after leaving Gru.
Simply because there was so much going on, most of the subplots failed to get enough development to make them as compelling to watch individually but is partially saved from the sum of its parts. The most developed, but not necessarily the best, of these parts was the relationship between Gru and Dru. Dru, for the most part, was an unnecessary character that was shoe-horned into the plot and was just an excuse to add a new character for the inevitable sequel.
The best subplot that also did not get nearly the attention it deserved was that of Gru and Bratt. Bratt was a wasted character who was still stuck in the 80s so with that came a plethora of 80s references from his hairstyle, his outfit, and the music. He was fun to watch and had some hilarious moments, albeit most of them were in the trailers, but we didn’t get nearly enough of him. Personally, it’s not that this film is bad, however, a film focusing on Gru and Bratt would have been much better.
The film still had plenty of humour which hit more often than not. Besides Bratt, it wasn’t overly original by any means but was still effective, mostly relying on the minions and Agnes’ cuteness. Although some may think they’re getting old, they were still entertaining to watch (their subplot here was arguably better than the Minions movie as a whole). The voice acting was great, especially Carell who voices two characters this time around. The animation was good as well.
Overall, this was a good animated film that was still fun but doesn’t quite reach the heights of the previous two films in the series. There was way too much going on here story-wise which muddled the film as a whole with the sum exceeding its individual parts. This will still make money so let’s hope they learn their lesson for the next film.
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