Posted Jul 03 2017
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Despicable Me 3 - This Over-Caffeinated Movie Just About Rocks (You Know, For Kids)

Dir: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

Starring Steve Carell, Kristin Wigg, Steve Carell, Trey Parker, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews, Andy Nyman, Jenny Slate

The problem with the Despicable Me movies – and very likely the reason for their success – is that they are essentially the cinematic equivalent of a child totally hopped up on a vast amount of sugar. Visually, tonally and certainly in terms of pace, this is (once again) like a hyper active kid banging off every wall in sight, never pausing for breath. And whilst some of that may well entertain, ultimately it’s more relentless and exhausting than enjoyable.

Thus we have a massively convoluted plot line, even by animation standards – Gru is battling a new super villain, a former TV child star Balthazar Bratt (awash with ‘80s references), discovers he has a long lost twin, Dru (also Carell), Gru and Lucy lose their jobs, Lucy is struggling with adopted motherhood, the girls are either finding family life equally stressful or looking for unicorns, and then they all decamp to Freedonia – yes, a knowing reference to the Marx Brothers, whose energy this clearly tries to channel – but tries too hard.

There is simply too much going on with DM3 (all the DMs in fact) to ever be able to simply take a breath and enjoy it. Pixar movies know two things that the makers of Despicable Me simply don’t get – one, keep your story simple, uncluttered, pure even. And two, within that, every now and then, take a moment to pause. Not only will your audience thank you, but it will allow your film to resonate. Despicable Me movies don’t resonate. They just “clang” loudly.

That said, if you are already inured to this kind of thing, number 3 is better than number 2 and you pretty much know what to expect. But, despite what the rest of the world seems to think, the Minions still aren’t funny. Just annoying. Bring your fart guns.

 

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