Gru is my favourite villain. And now there’s the breakdancing Balthazar Bratt, who comes in at number two. And number three is Gru’s twin brother Dru, who’s like a more optimistic Gru with a blonde wig. Sequels are usually something to endure but this third installment of the Despicable Me franchise was almost as good as the first and definitely more entertaining than the second.
In Despicable Me, super villain Gru (Steve Carell) found his heart and adopted the winsome orphaned sisters Agnes, Edith and Margo. In the sequel, he found love with scatty but plucky Anti Villain League agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and joined the forces of (bureaucratic) good (perhaps why this one was a bit of a snooze fest). In 3, Gru’s happy life is upended when he fails to stop Bratt (Trey Parker) stealing the largest diamond in the world and new AVL head Valerie de Vinci (Jenny Slate) sacks both him and Lucy. His goal to get their jobs back is diverted when he learns he has a twin brother.
This is an animation that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s a bit of ‘hugging and learning’ but Gru’s misanthropy adds enough acid to cut through the sugar. His physical humour is nicely mirrored by Dru who is like a Labrador puppy version of his brother. The three girls add some cuteness although don’t have much of a part to play in this storyline. Similarly Lucy is sidelined with a bit of a theme about discovering motherhood and a disappointingly familiar trope of women being the moral compass.
I know lots of kids love the minions in this series but I think less is more when it comes to these childish yellow acolytes. They add a crudeness to the humour which is often grating but rarely unkind. I loved Balthazar Bratt, the villain stuck in his childhood success as a TV superhero. The film makers run with the 80s theme from his many weapons to his signature moves and evil lair. Was I the only one who thought he looked a bit like Begbie from Trainspotting? Even the worst villains and the most nefarious characters seem like people you wouldn’t mind hanging out with.
If you have to go see a movie with your kids this holidays, this isn’t a bad choice.
Have you seen this film? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below.