Hot Take: I remember laughing a few times but I can barely remember anything outside of what I saw in the trailer. One of the least memorable sequels of all time.
If you sit in a theater for 90 minutes and can’t remember the experience, did it really happen? Well, that’s what it felt like watching Despicable Me 3. The third installment in the Despicable Me series and fourth (Thanks to Minions) in the Gru Extended Universe is about as memorable as a side salad. All of the characters are there, including a double dose of Steve Carell who voices both returning main character Gru and new character Dru, Gru’s twin brother, and there’s plenty of Minion fan service but there’s something about this latest chapter that says this side of the franchise might be running out of steam. Usually, you won’t see that impact at the box office until the next movie and there will be another Minions sequel before we’d see a Despicable Me 4 but if the third chapter is any indication, a fourth crack at Gru and family might be completely unnecessary.
The target audience of the original is 7 years older now but Despicable Me 3 didn’t appear to make any attempt to keep up with the maturation of its audience. If anything, the movie went backward as it again gave the Minions its own subplot and sometimes that felt like the main attraction rather than the generic family reunion tale between Gru and Dru and the bonding of Gru’s adopted daughters and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig). There’s a new bad guy — Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) — but he isn’t any more memorable than the last two villains Gru squared off against. Come to think of it, I guess he isn’t any less memorable, either, since I can barely remember the villains of the first two movies.
Despicable Me 3 is the cinematic equivalent of empty calories. Only, in this case, unlike that incredible sundae I had last night, this isn’t going to make its way back on the menu anytime soon. Never seeing Despicable Me 3 wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world since I can’t remember much of it anyway. That’s not saying it didn’t have a few laughs and a couple of nostalgia-induced smiles thanks to some familiar characters I’ve come to enjoy but I’d have a hard time pinpointing the exact moment that made me chuckle or what brought a smile to my face.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- More Minions Antics
You’re likely to fall on one side or the other when it comes to the Minions. Personally, I’d much rather see a Minions sequel than a Despicable Me sequel despite the marketing saturation we’ll be in for whenever Minions 2 hits theaters. The Minions subplot delivers exactly what you’d expect from Gru’s little yellow henchmen.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Amnesia Inducing Plot
I’d love to give you specifics but I can’t remember much of what I saw.