Movie Review: ‘Despicable Me 4’

by | Jul 3, 2024 | Featured Post, Movie Reviews, Movies | 0 comments

Gru, his family, and the Minions return for a fourth Despicable Me film (sixth if you include the two Minions movies and twenty-fourth if you also count the short films). This time, they must relocate and change their identities to hide from a new supervillain that is determined to get revenge on Gru and his family. Of course, shenanigans ensue with mixed comedic (and dramatic-ish) results. The plot is a little thin and predictable with an underdeveloped new supervillain, but overall, it is a fun family-friendly film with plenty of laughs for all to enjoy. If you have enjoyed the previous entries, you will likely enjoy this one as well; this is especially true for the cameo-filled finale.

The overarching plot revolves around Gru’s alma mater, Lycée Pas Bon, and specifically his former classmate Maxime Le Mal (voiced by Will Ferrell), who has a decades old grudge against Gru that is reignited during a class reunion. Because of Maxime’s desire for revenge afterward, the “Anti-Villain League” relocates Gru and his family to a new, more upscale, neighborhood and gives them new identities. Between the opening and climax of the film, Maxime is mostly seen in cutaways searching for Gru, which does not amount to a lot of character development as a supervillain, other than he has some fascination with cockroaches. He has funny moments, but he is mostly a plot device to send Gru and his family into new territory. His girlfriend Valentina (voiced by Sofía Vergara) is basically just along for the ride to give Maxime someone to talk to.

The Minions, of course, take up a lot of screen time with their insanity (which could be one reason why the villain is underdeveloped). Three of the Minions join Gru and his family in their new “home” (a safe house that feels more like an office in some rooms, including having a vending machine), while the rest of the Minions stay at AVL headquarters. It is best not to imagine how difficult it arguably should be for the Minions, and by association, Gru, to blend in and change their identities. (if there was something in the previous movies that explained their perception filter, I either missed it or forgot). Meanwhile, the Minions at AVL headquarters cause all sorts of havoc and five of them get selected to become “Mega Minions”, a parody of superheroes, which, as a fan of superhero movies, I found very humorous (sure, they are mocking superheroes/superhero movies, but I still enjoyed it – I like Cinemasins on YouTube, too, even when they appear to mock my favorite films and TV shows).

There are a few other inconsequential, yet hilarious, sub-plots to fill out the runtime. One involves Gru and their new neighbor Perry (voiced by Stephen Colbert). One shows Lucy, now going by “Blanche”, trying to take on her new job as a hairdresser with disastrous results. This later turns into a hilarious Terminator 2 parody complete with the theme music. Another involves Agnes not being able to lie that her name is now “Britney”. Also, as a fan of Futurama, it was nice to hear John DiMaggio’s voice, even if it was just for one scene (he’s the bus driver).

Bradley Smith
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