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Despicable Me Despicable Me 3
3.5/5
dir Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
scr Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul
prd Christopher Meledandri, Janet Healy
voices Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Pierre Coffin, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews, Jenny Slate, Andy Nyman, Michael Beattie
release US/UK 30.Jun.17
17/US Universal 1h30
Despicable Me 3
Long-lost brothers: Gru and Dru

carell wiig parker
See also:
Despicable Me 2 (2013) Minions (2015)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Despicable Me 3 The gang is back for another blissfully insane action comedy that barely pauses for breath. Multiple plot strands mean that there isn't really a central storyline, so nothing quite grabs hold, but it's an enjoyable ride, especially since the filmmakers have loaded every moment with silly gags, sophisticated comedy and pop culture references, mainly to the 1980s.

After being outfoxed by arch-nemesis Bratt (Parker), Gru and Lucy (Carell and Wiig) are sacked from the Anti-Villain League. Annoyed, Gru's minions (Coffin) march off in protest. Then before Gru and Lucy plan their next move, they learn that Gru has a twin brother he never knew existed. So they fly off to meet relentlessly cheerful Dru (also Carell), who runs a giant pig farm in an island nation obsessed with cheese. But Dru wants to be a villain like their dad, so Gru plots a heist that's actually a secret plan to catch Bratt.

The bright comical touch is that Bratt is the former child star of a corny 1980s TV series, which gives the filmmakers an excuse to indulge in vintage music (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Dire Straits), with nods to TV (The A-Team, Cheers, Miami Vice) and movies (Star Wars, Dirty Dancing, Twins). And they don't limit themselves to that decade. So even as it's constantly in frantic motion, the verbal wordplay and the animation remain strikingly crisp. Details abound at every level, including the witty sound mix.

Essentially, this is just a series of hyperactive set pieces strung together with very brief character moments, never quite letting the audience gather its breath. Our reaction to each moment of riotous comedy or adorable cuteness is cut short by the next bit of mayhem. So the voice cast barely gets a chance to create meaningful characters. Still, there are enjoyable adventures for Carell's siblings, Wiig's aspiring mum, Cosgrove's annoyed pre-teen and Scharrel's unicorn-obsessed toddler Gaier's middle child is sidelined).

Meanwhile, Coffin's minions have their own wildly entertaining parallel adventure, including an appearance on a talent competition show, a stint in prison and involvement in the Godzilla-sized climax. And Parker gets the chance to steal the show with the hilariously moustached and mulleted Bratt, who seems to live in Olivia Newton John's Physical video. The nimble pace means that nothing really sticks, but the sharpness of the gags makes it breathlessly enjoyable. The end may come as a relief, but we still want more.

cert u themes, innuendo, violence 25.Jun.17

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© 2017 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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