“Despicable Me 3”
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG for action and rude humor
Running time: 90 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
“Despicable Me 3” is actually the fourth installment in the animated franchise, provided you count the prequel Minions, which some may consider a spin-off. Co-directed by Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda and Eric Guillon, this episode revolves around Gru (Steve Carell) who discovers that he has an identical twin before facing-off against his most formidable foe ever.
As the film unfolds, we find the reformed reprobate and wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) being fired from by the Anti-Villain League for failing to prevent Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) from purloining a priceless pink diamond. FYI, Balthazar was an adorable child star until Hollywood had no further use for him when he hit puberty.
Embittered about being kicked to the curb, he’s ventured to the dark side and is currently bent on world domination. Yet, he’s a bit of a comical figure, since he’s still emulating the character he played in the Eighties, in terms of his clothes, haircut and musical taste.
Now that Gru and Lucy have joined the ranks of the unemployed, they have the time for a family outing to Fredonia to meet Dru (also voiced by Carell), the identical twin Gru never even knew he had. Other than sharing the same barrel-chested physique, the two are different as night and day. For, Dru is handsome with long blond hair and less of a Slavic accent. Plus, he’s criminally-inclined, and wants nothing more than to pull a heist with his relatively-gnarly, bald brother.
However, Gru hopes to kill two birds with one stone by duping his sibling into helping him “steal” the precious gem from Balthazar. What Dru doesn’t know is that his bro just wants to get back into his boss’ (Jenny Slate) good graces by returning the stone to its rightful owner.
While the twins embark on that quest, the other characters become embroiled in more subplots than you can shake a stick at. Gru and Lucy’s dating-age daughter, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), inadvertently encourages an ardent admirer (Adrian Ciscato). Their younger girls, Agnes (Nev Scharrel) and Edith (Dana Gaier), wander off into the forest in search of a fabled unicorn And the Minions land in jail after being arrested for trespassing.
The action is frenetic and the multi-stranded storyline eventually culminates in a manic finale featuring Balthazar terrorizing Tinseltown from the turret of giant, bubblegum-spewing robot. 90 minutes straight of the sort of overstimulation kids of the Attention-Deficit Generation crave!