As a sane, free thinking human being, I do what I can to avoid ending up in a cinema with snotty nosed, crying and poorly behaved children. But every now and then, there comes a time when Disney, Pixar, or in this case Illumination, release a film in which this endeavour becomes a necessary evil in order to see a film within the first week of its release.
Admittedly, I enjoyed the first two entries into this franchise however, after hearing of the torture that was the Minions solo movie, I took some persuading to see Despicable Me 3. So I entered the theatre, avoiding the evil children in an attempt to retain personal hygiene and I watched with absolutely zero expectations.
Surprisingly, Despicable Me 3 isn’t a bad film at all and I’ve seen much worse (thank you Zack Snyder) but it does lack the life and emotional punch that the first two Despicable Me films certainly had. The ‘gorls’, Margot, Agnes and Edith are cast from the limelight in this film in favour of the dynamic between Gru and his twin brother… wait for it… Dru. Because of this, the film certainly suffers in the Pixar-esque heart that this franchise once had. Probably becoming aware of this late on in the writing process, there is a storyline that involves Kristen Wiig’s, Lucy attempting to become a better mother to the ‘gorls’. However, despite being an attempt to inject an emotional core to the film, it just ends up feeling very tagged on.
The saving grace of this film however, is Steve Carrell who had me howling at times. The stupidity of the voice he provides for Gru lends the film some hilarious moments. As well as this, Trey Parker’s, Balthazar Bratt has some comedic parts, yet this is more down to visual comedy he provides as opposed to the vocal performance. Ultimately, the film was serviceable for the most part and the minions taking a backseat definitely helped.
If you’re a parent, then I would recommend taking your kids to see this film, especially if they had a good time with the other two and Minions. I do however plead you to try and control your child during the film in a desperate cry for cinema etiquette to be restored. I found myself at times wondering why Gru had turned into a screaming baby, only to find an unwashed youth balling his eyes out (for whatever reason) a few rows back. This was usually accompanied by an oblivious parent who had chosen not to take their child out of the room for consolement. Instead, they were happy to let the hundreds of surrounding paying customers be subjected to the howls (which in the words of famed Evertonian, Owen Morris is ‘bang out of order’).
All in all, Despicable Me 3 provides a fun experience for the kids and fans of the franchise, probably not so much for parents, but fails to live up to its predecessors. Catch the film in theatres now, or if you want to maintain the will to live afterwards… wait for it on demand.