Talk about the perfect family movie! My husband Mike and I took our ten year old daughter Addie to see the third installment of the Despicable Me series, and all three of us enjoyed it for our own set of reasons. Despicable Me 3, unlike other movies where the continuation of the original story should have ended after one sequel, was just as entertaining as 2010’s Despicable Me and 2013’s Despicable Me 2.
Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, once the world’s most infamous supervillain himself, is now happily married to Lucy, voiced by Kristen Wiig. Together, Gru and Lucy work to apprehend notorious criminal masterminds for the Anti-Villain League while also raising Gru’s three adopted daughters, Margo, Edith, and Agnes. Lucy, new to the role of being a parent, finds herself, for the first time in her life, feeling a bit unsure about herself. She wants Gru’s girls to like her, something that seasoned parents know is nice, but also know is not necessarily the most important component of being a caregiver.
Meanwhile, a new bad guy arrives on the scene, wreaking havoc with Gru and Lucy’s careers. Trey Parker voices Balthazar Bratt, a former child actor unable to come to grips with his television series’ cancellation. Bratt, as his name suggests, is living in the past, and is intent on making those who tried to make him fade into the sunset pay. Donning a “bullet” (that’s mullet with a bald spot), Bratt is stuck in the 1980s, and uses bubble gum as his unlikely weapon of choice.
As Gru and Lucy deal with the ramifications of Bratt’s latest heist, a scenario reminiscent of The Parent Trap is introduced. Gru, who’s been a loner at heart for so long, discovers he has a brother Dru, also voiced by Steve Carell. How will a “new” brother change the Gru we’ve all come to know? He’s already changed so much from the original movie, when he found himself as the girls’ custodian, to the sequel, when he fell in love with Lucy. Is he able to make even more room in his heart for Dru while still remaining the same persnickety, mistrusting, and sarcastic Gru everyone loves?
The animated film had Mike, Addie, and I laughing from the start! Mike, although in his early 40s, is still a boy at heart. Just like the first two movies in the series, Mike found the minions to be hysterical. As usual, the minions are pretty much indecipherable, but in Despicable Me 3 there’s one word in particular that’s able to be understood (no spoilers) that made my husband giggle as if he was in elementary school still. Of course, Addie and I found the minions to be funny as well, but there’s definitely some “boy humor” when it comes to their antics.
Addie loved Gru’s girls, and could relate to each of their characteristics. Margo is practical and observant, Edith is mischievous and silly, and the adorable Agnes, with her big brown eyes, like all little girls, loves unicorns. I noticed that Addie laughed throughout the movie, but she seemed especially entranced by the scenes involving the girls.
As a mom, I connected with Lucy, and smiled as I watched her transformation from becoming an anti-villain warrior to becoming a legitimate part of Gru’s family.
After the movie was over, Mike, Addie, and I all remarked how great the soundtrack, in keeping with Balthazar Bratt’s love of the 80s, was. I noticed Addie dancing throughout the movie and at the end. I found it interesting that the majority of the songs, popular when I was in elementary school, were so appealing to my own soon-to-be fifth grader. It goes to show that everything, including music, comes full circle I suppose.
If you’re looking for a fun summer movie that will appeal to everyone in your family, then Despicable Me 3 is definitely a great choice! Even if you haven’t seen the first two films, you’ll be able to enjoy this third installment. You may not laugh as hard as the minions do, but you will smile for sure! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to the soundtrack, which features classics from the ’80s as well as new songs by Pharrell Williams.
Movie times: click here
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
Directors: Eric Guillon, Kyle Balda
Actors: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Rating: Rated PG for action and rude humor