Reel Opinions


Friday, June 30, 2017

Despicable Me 3

Watching Despicable Me 3, it's easy to see why it was made.  The last two films (and their 2015 spin off Minions) were huge hits with kids, and even adults.  With the kind of bank these movies have made, why wouldn't a studio green light a third?  It makes perfect sense on a financial level.  On the creative side, sadly, what we have here is a project that feels like it was slapped together out of desperation.  While far from unwatchable, there's very little comedic spark here.  This feels less like a story the filmmakers wanted to tell, and more like a studio requirement that nobody really wanted to make in the first place.

It's also a movie that frequently seems to be at war with itself.  The earlier movies were perfectly suitable for kids, while also slipping in some smart humor or throw away lines that adults could laugh at.  Despicable Me 3 seems to be aimed entirely at the under-10 crowd, with juvenile jokes making up a majority of the gags. (There are two fart gags alone during the animation studio logo before the film even properly begins.) Okay, fine enough.  But then, why does the movie throw in so many references to the 1980s that will fly over kids' heads?  These come in the form of the film's villain, Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker from South Park), a former 80s child star turned supervillain who uses breakdancing and relics from the era like Rubik's Cubes in his crimes.  It's kind of funny at first, but the writers quickly run out of inspiration for the character, and just have him constantly reference music and items from the decade instead of actually doing anything interesting.  In a movie full of missed opportunities, he's one of the bigger ones.

In a movie that exists simply to be a summer cash cow, the uninspired plot is usually the first warning sign, and that is definitely the case here.  We find Gru (voice by Steve Carell) and his new wife Lucy (Kristin Wiig) invited to meet Gru's long-lost twin brother, Dru (also Carell).  Gru has been depressed lately, due to the fact he was fired from his job at the Anti-Villain League for failing to capture Bratt during one of his capers, and hopes that the reunion will lift his spirits.  Little does Gru realize, Dru wants to get into the villain business, and is hoping that Gru will teach him.  Meanwhile, Gru's adoptive daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Nev Scharrel) are more or less pushed to the sidelines in this installment.  There's a bizarre subplot about Margo becoming engaged to a young foreigner boy because she participated in a local custom with him that goes absolutely nowhere, and Agnes hears a rumor that a unicorn exists in a forest nearby, and goes to look for him.  That's about it.  The plots are introduced, resolved haphazardly, and basically forgotten about.  Even the ever-present Minions don't have much to do this time around, and could have just as easily been written out of the film with no consequence whatsoever.

There's just such a sense here that everyone involved knew that the franchise had run out of inspiration, and they were doing their best to keep it afloat, but to little avail.  The characters are still likable, but they don't have the energy from before, nor do they get to interact with each other much.  There's a plot introduced early on about how Lucy is having a hard time adjusting to being a mother to Gru's three girls, but again, absolutely nothing is done with it.  This could have easily added some heart or a couple sweet moments, but it obviously exists to pad out an underwritten screenplay.  Nothing sticks or connects, unless you're of the youngest members of the audience.  I will acknowledge that the Despicable Me films have not been the greatest, but they still had a sense of heart, and even some genuine laughs.  This looks, plays and sounds exactly like a series that has run out of gas.

For an unnecessary sequel completely going through mechanical motions, Despicable Me 3 is not the worst out there.  Faint praise, sure, but sometimes you just have to look at the positives when you're faced with something this uninspired.  However, I have no doubt that the movie will break all sorts of box office records over the summer with kids.  That should at least let the corporate heads who insisted on this sleep a little easier at night.
Balthazar Bratt
Balthazar Bratt

0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009
05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009
06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009
07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009
08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009
09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009
10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009
11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009
12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010
01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010
02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010
03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010
04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010
05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010
06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010
07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010
08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010
09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010
10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010
11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010
12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011
01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011
02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011
03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011
04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011
05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011
06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011
07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011
08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011
09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011
10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011
11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011
12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012
01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012
02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012
03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012
04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012
05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012
06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012
07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012
08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012
09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012
10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012
11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012
12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013
01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013
02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013
03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013
04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013
05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013
06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013
07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013
08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013
09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013
10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013
11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013
12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014
01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014
02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014
03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014
04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014
05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014
06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014
07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014
08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014
09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014
10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014
11/01/2014 - 12/01/2014
12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015
01/01/2015 - 02/01/2015
02/01/2015 - 03/01/2015
03/01/2015 - 04/01/2015
04/01/2015 - 05/01/2015
05/01/2015 - 06/01/2015
06/01/2015 - 07/01/2015
07/01/2015 - 08/01/2015
08/01/2015 - 09/01/2015
09/01/2015 - 10/01/2015
10/01/2015 - 11/01/2015
11/01/2015 - 12/01/2015
12/01/2015 - 01/01/2016
01/01/2016 - 02/01/2016
02/01/2016 - 03/01/2016
03/01/2016 - 04/01/2016
04/01/2016 - 05/01/2016
05/01/2016 - 06/01/2016
06/01/2016 - 07/01/2016
07/01/2016 - 08/01/2016
08/01/2016 - 09/01/2016
09/01/2016 - 10/01/2016
10/01/2016 - 11/01/2016
11/01/2016 - 12/01/2016
12/01/2016 - 01/01/2017
01/01/2017 - 02/01/2017
02/01/2017 - 03/01/2017
03/01/2017 - 04/01/2017
04/01/2017 - 05/01/2017
05/01/2017 - 06/01/2017
06/01/2017 - 07/01/2017
07/01/2017 - 08/01/2017
08/01/2017 - 09/01/2017
09/01/2017 - 10/01/2017

Powered by Blogger