Movies: Despicable Me 3 (or, Despicable M3)


Okay, I've never seen the first two movies in this franchise, so maybe I was just coming in at the wrong point. But based on the previews—which were really just the first full scene of the movie—I thought this was going to be cute and funny. It was neither.

Here's what I knew going in:

  • Gru used to be a villain but now he was some kind of agent who fought villains
  • There were Minions

Honestly, you don't have to know much more than that to understand the dynamic. Gru has a wife named Lucy who is also an agent (it's called the Anti-Villain League, or AVL), and they've adopted three girls. You can glean that from the story without having to know it ahead of time. Also, I've just told you.

The real problem with this movie (besides the Minions, who I hate with a passion that blazes like a million suns) is that it's crazy disjointed. It starts with that opening scene we all saw in the trailers: Gru fighting 80s-loving villain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker, the only good thing in this movie). Then it goes on to be about Gru discovering he has a twin brother, and that he comes from a line of pig-farming villains. There is exactly no tension. No laughs. The movie attempts to set up jokes and gags, but none of them are funny. Plot lines like the one about the boy who has a crush on Margo get squashed and kicked to the curb without serving any real purpose. (Yes, okay, it was supposed to bring Lucy and Margo closer, I guess? But there was never enough discord between them for us to feel gratified by that story thread.)

Meanwhile, the Balthazar Bratt stuff takes a back seat, which is a shame because, as I mentioned, he's the only truly entertaining thing about the movie. Sure, he's pretty one-note, but that note is way more interesting than anything else that's going on. That's not saying much, but there you have it.

In some ways, D-Me 3 feels like two stories Frankensteined together. The writers wanted to tell about this Bratt guy, and they wanted to do this family story, so they did both and neither came out well.

Minor spoiler posed as a question: If Lucy saved Gru and Dru at Bratt's lair, how did they get their speedboat back? (I'm going to go out on a limb and assume Bratt drove it back to Dru's when he came to get back the diamond? Still, sloppy work not making that clear. Also, why is the giant Bratt mecha under water?)

In short, this is a really terrible movie. My husband laughed, but only at the faces I made while watching. "I can't remember the last time a movie made you this angry," he told me.

It was just . . . so bad. So very, very bad.

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