Despicable Me 3 is a 2017 animated film directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio and stars Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Trey Parker. The A-plot of the film follows the lives of Gru, Lucy, and their children while we all know the B-plot involves some idiocy with the minions.
I have nothing remotely smart or funny to open this review with because this film refuses to be smart or funny or anything remotely interesting. Seriously, we have seen the plot of this movie played out a million times before. But in all honesty, that is not the problem. The real issue is that the film refuses to elevate itself with a compelling screenplay. The film has a few moments of genuine levity but the sheer mass of characters and a brisk runtime of 95 minutes do not help the film establish an identity of its own. I’ll refuse to comment about the physics the film goes by because, cartoon. But I refuse to accept these characters and their journeys.
The trio of girls is damn near sidelined. That stupid unicorn C-plot can keel over and die. Margo’s rehashed storyline of not accepting a parent adds to the laziness. By the way, someone explain to me what Edith’s character is apart from the tomboy.
Kristen Wiig’s Lucy is grating at best and pull-my-ears-out annoying at worst. You know how you don’t hear Steve Carell’s real voice out of Gru because of that over-the-top accent, Lucy has none of that. It’s Kristen Wiig. I know it’s her, I can hear her and she is painfully unfunny throughout the film. Her arc is so ridiculously telegraphed and unearned that I found myself laughing at the screen and the sheer audacity the film had to pass this off as a genuinely heartfelt character journey.
She feels that the girls don’t view her as a mother right. So the film happens and at the third act, she saves the trio from “certain” death which makes the girls like her. I have a bone to pick with this. The girls actually pushed Gru into being with her in Part 2 (why would you want your father to be someone you don’t personally like?) and they know she is a badass spy action person anyway because she works for the AVL. I mean, What? Hello? Dude? *sigh*
Then come Gru and Dru. I have a question. So Gru’s last name is Gru. His full name is Fellonious Gru. So his brother’s name is Dru Gru. That just happened. You can never unread that. I want you to not forget this because it will act as a reminder of how lazy this film can be. I don’t even need to explain the arc there because if you’ve watched the trailers you know what it is. It’s just. AAAAAAAH!!! *deep breath*
The minions have their own plot too because why the hell not. Let’s sell some toys to gullible children and equally gullible adults (you know who you are). The B-plot is so ancillary and teeters on the fringes of the main story that a chance coincidence which involves one of them, minions, seeing bubbles in a shower kicks their arc into motion. I… just… *deep breath*
I can’t talk about Trey Parker’s Balthazar Bratt. I love the man way too much to shit on him. But dude, what were you thinking? What is that character? Why? You know that this character’s plan is a near carbon copy of Mr. Freeze’s plan from Batman and Robin right? From the diamond-thieving to stupid one-liners. If a pseudo-Cartman somehow crossed over into this film, it would have been a million times better than the flaming dumpster fire it currently is.
Kids movies needn’t be stupid. Kids movies have moved me, affected me, made me laugh and have broken me into tears. A child lives within all of us and childhood emotions are bare bone and unpretentious. It one of the purest things one can witness. This is just so far away from what it could actually be. The potential is so prevalent in every scene but when one makes the choice to trick instead of teach, the final product is never memorable or genuine.