DESPICABLE ME 3 review by Ronnie Malik – the third time, in this case, is not the charm

DESPICABLE ME 3 review by Ronnie Malik – the third time, in this case, is not the charm

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Director: Eric Guillon, Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin

Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel, Pierre Coffin, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews, Jenny Slate, Michael Beattie, Andy Nyman, Adrian Ciscato, and Katia Saponenko

Rating: C-

The storyline about a villain turned good with army of helpers made up of small yellow minions charmed audiences in the first two installments of the DESPICABLE ME franchise. The filmmakers seem to have just the right ingredients to launch DESPICABLE ME 3, but sadly the charm of this wacky comedy series fizzles out pretty fast this time around.

The movie opens with Gru (Steve Carell) and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wig) working for the AVL (Anti-Villain League). The two crime fighters are assigned with the task of capturing Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a 1980s child star turned criminal.  After failing at their mission, Gru and Lucy are fired by Valerie Da Vinci (Jenny Slate), the new head of the AVL. With their heads down, the couple give their three adopted daughters, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Agnes (Nev Scharrel), and Edith (Dana Gaier) the news that they have lost their jobs. Just when all hope seems lost, Gru discovers that he has a twin brother.

Dru (also Steve Carell), Gru’s long lost twin, makes arrangements to fly the family out to Fredonia.  Here Gru and his family discover that Dru is immensely wealthy, possesses lush flowing blond hair, and likes to hug everyone around him. As Dru and Gru begin bonding in brotherly love, Dru reveals to his twin that their father actually started an underground business of crime. Dru wants Gru to teach him how to be a supervillain.  Gru uses his brothers desire to live up to the family’s legacy as a means to capture the notorious Balthazar Bratt so he can get his job back.

DESPICABLE ME 3 is filled with a variety of subplots that make no sense. The film veers off in one direction following the Minions, who refuse to follow Gru any more, as they immerse themselves into prison life. Margo gets accidentally engaged to a local village boy, Agnes enters into the forest to look for a Unicorn, Lucy desperately trying to bond with her oldest daughter, and Balthazar is clinging to the 1980s by becoming his child star’s character in real life. None of the subplots tie in with the main plot of this latest installment, and the bouncing back and forth only succeeds in creating a loss of interest in what could have been a really funny movie.

Carrell still manages to delight with his voiceover of Gru and Dru, but the sibling rivalry never really has a chance to develop and become a solid part of the film because the storyline keeps bouncing around between side stories that have nothing to do with anything. Watching the Bratt character flaunt his 80s hair and clothing coupled with bad dance moves and jokes gets old pretty quickly. Lucy’s journey to mom-hood comes off tedious and boring. The kids are as cute as ever which is one saving grace for this third animation spectacle.

This outing feels more like a hodge-podge of bits and pieces of bad jokes thrown together in an attempt to make an animated comedy. Even having three directors involved in making the sequel apparently could not create something cohesive. Compared to the previous efforts, DESPICABLE ME 3 is poorly made and just plain awful. There is an opening left for a 4th film so hopefully someone will have the sense to take a good hard look at how bad the 3rd film is and avoid making those mistakes going forward.

DESPICABLE ME 3 opens June 30, 2017

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