Viewed – 11 December 2017 Blu-ray
The original Despicable Me was a great spin on an old idea… a somewhat inept but dedicated villain finds his life and evil world-conquering plans turned upside down when three orphan girls come into his care. It worked great and also happened to (for better or worse) introduce the world ‘the minions’. Now reaching the third entry, following a somewhat underwhelming minions movie spin-off, I approached this with only marginal hype.
Gru (perfectly voiced again by Steve Carell) is now a special agent working for the Anti-Villain-League, who after failing to apprehend for the umpteenth time a wily villain obsessed with the eighties – suddenly gets fired by the agency’s new boss. However whilst sitting on his laurels, tempted to return to a more villainous life, he discovers he’s got a long lost twin brother.
This was a riot of fun. It’s a little jam-packed with story threads but somehow manages to hold it all together, helped by a sharp and laugh-out-loud script and colourful, brilliantly designed characters. South Park’s Trey Parker turns in excellent voice work as comedy moon-walking villain Balthazar Bratt – a former child actor who never got over his career hitting the skids when puberty kicked in. The several spot-on music cues work wonderfully and the gags come thick and fast. ‘Dru’, Gru’s brother is a tad irritating, and I’d have liked much more for the three girls to do other than bonding with Gru’s girlfriend Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and hunting for a unicorn.
By the third outing, ideas of course can get recycled (ahem, Toy Story 3) – but something about the Despicable Me franchise I could just watch and watch. This latest effort doesn’t buck the trend. Recommended.
Verdict: 4 /5