Review by Adrina Palmer
The writers of “Despicable Me” and “Minions” have lost their magical talent for filling a theater with laughter. While the loss of talent is probably temporary, audiences will feel the deficiency from “Despicable Me 3.” Maybe the writers got bored. Maybe they got lazy and thought the Minions were strong enough to sell themselves even with a lousy plot. Either way, this film is lackluster at best, pulling from multiple sources instead of creating an original plot like the last few movies. Minions are cute, but the plot has always fueled the laughter.
Gru and his new wife, Lucy, are busy trying to raise their three adoptive daughters while working as secret agents on the hunt for villains. Lucy wants the girls to accept her as mom. A plot geared more for parents than for children. Gru needs to find a way to entertain the Minions, bananas are only so effective, while on the search for newly introduced bad guy Balthazar, a child star gone rogue. The 1980s themed super villain is a flashback to the movie “Pixels” but with less pizzazz. Sure, he has super bubble gum as his secret tool that is fun for kiddos, but he lacks the menace we expect from crooks. His mullet, bald spot, and Mohawk hair is so over the top, coupled with his purple shoulder pads and tracksuit, he loses his appeal before he finishes his first scene. Not to mention, his favorite method of fighting is via a dance off with a handheld keyboard. Really? Give us an actual villain, not an MC Hammer wannabe with a seedy mustache. Despite his noticeable character flaws, Balthazar Bratt the Bad Boy manages to keep Gru five steps behind him. Even Gru is off his game.
A new boss lady, determined to show she is in control, fires Gru and Lucy when they fail to capture the ridiculous bandit, as a power show for the other employees. She disappears after this scene instead of continually threatening the family with her overly large nose. Just another ball dropped this third time around. He just got the job! Why in the world would they fire him? I am ready to re-write the script with the help of my ten-year-old.
Back to our yellow-bellied friends. The minions are mad. Not only has their boss turned into a daddy, but now he isn’t a villain and even managed to get fired from being a good guy. Minion Mel leads his yellow buddies out the door to wreak havoc in their search for a new villain to work for, same plot different movie.
The writers decide to lose all spark of creativity and automatically pull a wealthy twin brother out of their boring hats. Not just any twin, but a bumbling idiot. Nice twin Dru, a wealthy pig farmer, lives on a small island somewhere in Europe in a spacious mansion…and I am bored just describing this character fail. Everyone knows if you find a long lost twin (this plot came courtesy of “The Parent Trap”) he is supposed to be evil. Maybe the writers though since Gru use to be evil they would spin this the opposite direction but the follow through was a wash. Of course, new found brother Dru is delighted to meet Gru and his family and bring them back into the family legacy of Villainness, which he fails at almost as bad as Gru.
Lucy explores the island, in a series of mini-plots leading to more plot holes, with the three girls while Gru becomes acquainted with his long lost brother. Together, the brothers decide to take down Balthazar the Bad Boy once in for all, with the help of their father’s secret room full of tools. Meanwhile, the Minions wreak enough havoc to land themselves in jail. They quickly escape, determined to find trouble, and end up bumping into Gru and Dru just in time to take down Brad (my name for him, Balthazar doesn’t fit at all) and his giant robot. End of plot.
The theater was quiet. I’m serious. A few laughs here and there, but otherwise the laugh-o-meter pegged out somewhere around three out of ten. The minions were cute when they were actually on the screen, but mostly Gru’s twin was shoved on stage much to my dismay. Agnes, the cute, unicorn-obsessed, adoptive daughter, was the only real win for the movie when she sold her beloved unicorn stuff to help pay the bills, and when she got her own real live almost-unicorn. The other two girls were thrown into the mix, more as background music than as actual characters relevant to the film. The same with the weapons introduced, nothing new.
The overwhelming feeling of this film was an afterthought, as if the writers were deciding what the characters should do this time and came up blank. Then they decided to toss some old films in and stole bits and pieces to make this hodge-podge fiasco. Questions were left unanswered, and even the Minions fell short of really entertaining. What a letdown. I don’t care how old you are Minions are (usually) awesome. My ringtone has been Minions laughing for three years, proving my devotion. This movie should not be linked to those banana loving troublemakers. We have been cheated with this pathetic follow up. Not that I am surprised, most third movies in a series leave much to be desired. I would wait until “Despicable Me 3” is available at your local Redbox as the movie is not worth the cost of seeing at the theater.