Despicable Me 3

DESPICABLE ME 3, US. Voices: Steve Carrell, Kristin Wiig, Trey Parker, Julie Andrews, Steve Coogan, Pierre Coffin,Jenny Slate. Directed by Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin. 90 minutes. Rated PG (Mild themes and animated violence).

if you have been following the career of intense mastermind criminal, Gru, as well as his conversion to the side of right, and also his devotion to agent, Lucy, then there is no doubt that you will want to see what they are up to in this third Despicable Me film. And, of course, of course, there are the Minions, still with their bright yellow, still some of them with a touch of personality while there are hosts of almost anonymous others, with their particular intonations and language which we scarcely understand, and their propensity for being on the side of those against the law.

The animation is the same and it has delighted audiences, especially younger audiences, in the previous two films and the Minions’ own feature and short films. While there could have been more of the Minions in this film, they turn up at various times, bringing a sense of comic relief, in their turning against Gru because of his law-abiding missions, rounded up and going to prison and causing more than a rumpus there, escaping and flying through the air in their own contraption and able to help out in final confrontations.

Steve Carrell voices again the character of Gru, and Kristin Wiig is Lucy. If you have seen the preview, then you won’t be surprised that one of the plot developments is the introduction of a villain par excellence, Balthasar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker of South Park), a superstar child of 1980s television, a young successful criminal. After a bout of acne, he loses popularity and decides to retire to be a criminal in real life, seeming to have unlimited funds (probably his royalties) to create robots, planes, weapons.

Gru has a mission to capture Bratt but just misses out so he is fired from the agency as is Lucy when she stands up for him. They retire to home with their three daughters and all seems to move towards a quiet film. But, then comes the news that Gru has a twin brother, Dru (also voiced by Steve Carrell but in a higher register), so Gru contacts his making-whoopee mother (voiced by, of all people, Julie Andrews!) who tells him the truth and he goes to find his long-lost brother who has yellow hair while Gru has none. The whole family moves into Dru’s luxurious home.

But, Bratt is not to be put down and has stolen a jewel from Paris – which means, of course, that Gru will be after him again, with the help of Dru (who actually wants to be a criminal). So, finally, plenty of action as Bratt takes his plane and then his giant robot of himself and laser in a pretty successful attempt to demolish a lot of Hollywood, only to be defeated by Dru – and the Minions coming to the rescue.

And there it is, more or less what we might expect, a lively entertainment, especially for younger audiences.

Universal.                         Released June 15th

Peter Malone MSC is an Associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting.

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