Review: Despicable Me 3

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

PLOT: When lovable one-time baddie Gru discovers he has a brother, the siblings find themselves reunited and ready for a final heist. The enemy? A has-been television child star bent on the destruction of Hollywood.

REVIEW: Early on, there was a spark of hope that appeared in the latest Minion-fueled adventure DESPICABLE ME 3. It is then we first meet villain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a one time successful child actor who quickly lost his audience due to puberty. He is a uniquely Eighties villain that loves music and style from that era. And that means we are going to have a ton of classic tunes from Madonna, Michael Jackson,  Berlin, a-ha and of course the non-Eighties icon Pharrell Williams – a regular with this franchise. As much fun as that initial introduction to the latest bad guy is, the new sequel falls into a big case of recycled entertainment. Even with the new brother Dru (also voiced by Steve Carrell), this is yet another flick that appears to only be there to sell more toys to kids and not much else.

After a disastrous attempt to protect a massive and powerful diamond, Gru (Carrell) and wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are fired from their jobs by their controlling new boss. When the many Minions find out and realize that Gru isn’t going back to being a bad guy anymore, even with the bad news, they call for mutiny and go off on their own – thank goodness for small favors as the little yellow creatures are better in small doses. However, Gru may get his chance to prove what a great spy he is when he meets his long lost brother Dru, who is desperate to learn from the infamous Gru. To retrieve the stolen object, Gru must fight the Eighties obsessed Balthazar Bratt, take back the missing diamond and get his job back. And the old 'keep the family together' sort of plays out again as well. Well, the plot was something like that.

minions despicable me 3 steve carrell trey parker kristen wiig animation illumination sequel 2017

If you’ve watched the past two DESPICABLE ME flicks, this one won’t surprise you in any way. Gru has become a bit of a lovable softy, and much of that is thanks to his relationship with the adorable adopted daughters, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Grier) and Agnes (Nev Scharrel). Since father has already bonded, it is time for Lucy to try and fill the mother role. And if one Gru isn’t enough, well this time you have Dru and Gru. The only problem is that Dru is incredibly annoying, including the high vocal pitch that Carrell adds to the character. If you are just a big Minion fan, well you don’t get quite as much of them this time around. They are still very prominent, but since most of them go off on their own journey for a bit in the slammer – yes, they go to jail and perform in a singing competition – we don’t get the full Minion impact.

The first time around, I enjoyed the wild antics of a would be super villain who suddenly develops a huge heart thanks to three little orphans. Unfortunately, that same story has become tedious with each film. While the last flick was all about MINIONS, the third chapter with the Despicable Me name just feels like more of the same when it comes to this franchise. Gru is still a bit of a mess when it comes to sticking to a plan, and the young girls always help him find his way. By having this story involve Lucy trying to connect with Margo and crew, it all becomes far too familiar and predictable. Basically, we find Gru going after a dumb bad guy, but neither of the villains are terribly bright. It’s getting old.

The best thing I can say about the sequel is that it moves fast enough. With a dozen or so poppy tunes and a ton of bright animation, the young viewers already infatuated by these characters will probably enjoy it. This may not be the case for anybody older than that who will likely be waiting for the credits to roll. Of course the animation is impressive, that is not at all shocking considering the fine folks at Illumination have grown since the first film. And while we didn't see it in 3D, I have a feeling that it will be the preferred method of viewing for the young ones. For everyone else, as cool as it looks, the silly story and the convoluted plot won't sit as well.

despicable me 3 steve carrell minions kristen wiig trey parker animation illumination 2017 sequel

DESPICABLE ME 3 is more of the same. If you liked the last couple of films you may find some enjoyment here. It is a shame though, Gru’s introduction had several charming moments and made for a very entertaining feature. That was well before the Minions became nightmarishly popular with audiences. Since then, the movies have gone from being charming to simple product placement. Look at how cute the yellow minions are! You need to go buy them all now! Well no, I don’t want to buy any. If only they had utilized the very talented Parker better and told an interesting story. It was nice to hear Mr. Parker do something different than his usual South Park exploits. If you are in the mood for Eighties tunes, killer bubble gum and a ton of lame attempts at comedy, you may enjoy this. If the kids demand that you see this flick in the theatres, well as least the music may give you some pleasure.

Despicable Me 3



Viewer Ratings (0 reviews)

Add your rating


About the Author

3140 Articles Published

JimmyO is one of’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.