After being unmoved by trailers for “The Mummy,” I decided to take an 11-year-old and a 19-year-old to something I felt would amuse us across the board—“Despicable Me 3.” The latest installment has stayed true to the franchise so our little mission for the evening was accomplished.
The first “Despicable Me” movie was released seven years ago—it was a simple, little film by a new animation studio called Illumination Entertainment. It was silly, un-ambitious and unpretentious. But it was also terribly cute, sweet, tender and funny. Not to mention, it introduced these resourceful, goofy, mischievous and mostly hive-minded creatures called Minions.
The movie made $543 million dollars at the box office—almost eight times its budget and cleared about $474 million dollars for the studio.
Three years later, its sequel, “Despicable Me 2” went head to head with Disney’s big Johnny Depp-starrer: “The Lone Ranger.” That supposed summer blockbuster cost Disney $215 million and made $260 million. “Despicable Me 2” cost $76 million to make, and it raked in $970.8 million at the tills. Whoa.
I’d actually like to see how “Despicable Me 3” compares on those terms to Tom Cruise’s “The Mummy” but the animation has not yet opened in the US. However, if you go by Rotten Tomatoes, “The Mummy” is at 16 percent while Despicable Me 3 is at 89 percent.
Despicable Me 3 is all about its the trademark colors, great animation (especially the characters’ body movements and facial expressions) and exuberant silliness and humor.
In the first film, solitary Gru (Steve Carrell) began a family by adopting three little girls. In the next film he meets his love, Lucy (Kristen Wiig). In its third installment, he meets a brother he never knew he had—Dru. Together they battle washed up ‘80s child star Balthazar Bratt. Expect a lot of ‘80s music, cheesy references and the worst haircut and fashion statements for men from that era.
Just a little bit of trivia—Pierre Coffin has not only been co-directing each film so far in the franchise, he has voiced many of the Minions as well. I’d actually love to read their part gibberish, part English names and foreign languages dialogue on a subtitled version of the film.
Despicable Me 3 is light, adorable and amusing. I like that it doesn’t try too hard. When it comes to movies, despicable wins over desperate.