Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Despicable Me 3: Gru Meets Dru and the Fun Begins Once Again

Movie Review: Despicable Me 3 (2017)
Version: Paid movie theater viewing

They're back -- Gru, Lucy, Margo, Edith, Agnes, and all who knows how many adorable minions each who has a name -- in Despicable Me 3. You would think after two tries that a third movie would fall flat on its despicable face. Not so. Despicable Me 3 finds the crew as irrepressibly lovable and fun as the first time we met them. And this time, there's one more member of the crew to love: Gru's twin brother, Dru.

Gru and Lucy are fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to catch Balthazar Bratt, newest arch enemy of goodness, even though they retrieved the target of Bratt's villainy, the world's largest gem. So for the rest of the movie there is battle between Gru and Lucy to retrieve the gem. Meanwhile, Gru and his family receives a mysterious invitation to visit a far off property which turns out to belong to his long lost -- and unknown -- twin brother, Dru. It turns out Gru's mother and father were spies during the Great War and had a falling out, each deciding to take and raise one son. Dru was raised in the shadow of his father's success as an evil spy while also watching his brother's success as an international bad guy. Now seeing Gru unemployed, Dru wants to join forces to do evil together, as it was meant to be. Gru, of course, has a family to think of, and is resistant, but Dru draws him into intrigue. And there's the matter of Balthazar Bratt to deal with.

The minions, meanwhile, have left the household, having lost faith in Dru because he has been fired but also because he refuses to turn back to doing evil. Theirs is a hilarious side story of getting into trouble, ending up in prison -- which they dominate as a tribe, escape and run off in search of a mission, only to be reintroduced to Gru with Dru. In my opinion, they steal the show, once again.

Gru and Dru are played with delicious joy once again by Steve Carell. Returning as his adorable wife Lucy is Kristen Wiig. The quirky Balthazar Bratt is played by Trey Parker. Also returning, Miranda Cosgrove is daughter Margo, Dana Gaier is daughter Edith, and Nev Scharrel is huggable daughter Agnes. You can't find a more wonderful ensemble cast for an animated film. The ensemble cast for all those adorable minions is one guy: Pierre Coffin. I'd love to have a conversation with him about how he assembles that dialogue!

Technically, the animation is flawless, from color to set decoration to character creation to lighting and on and on. The Despicable Me franchise remains one of my favorite for story telling and attention to detail. It is consistently excellent, and that continued in Despicable Me 3. The history of sequels in film isn't very good, but with this franchise they have kept our faith through two. I'd love to see a third sequel.

I don't know how long Despicable Me 3 will remain in theaters. It opened at the end of June in most markets, early July in some others, and late August in a very few others. But it's worth paying to see on the big screen. If you miss it in theaters, definitely see it on DVD or Blu-Ray or on cable or satellite TV. It's great fun!

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