'Despicable Me 3' review: All out of ideas
There is only one thing certain about a new movie featuring those pellet-shaped jaundiced critters unimaginatively called minions, and it's that every new film will be as creatively bankrupt as the last.
The Despicable Me franchise, which follows a bumbling ex-villain as he tries his best to be a good example to a trio of orphans, has evolved from a relatively amiable cartoon with a genuinely safe concept to an unabashed cash grab by Illumination Entertainment. By virtue of sheer repetition of plot and jokes, the cartoons have become as generic as the B-movies featuring gadget-addicted baddies they overtly spoof.
Despicable Me 3 has finally been unleashed unto the world and it proves – via its first action sequence involving Gru (Steve Carell) fumblingly foiling a diamond heist – that the franchise is all out of new ideas.
The plot involves a rejected child star-turned-psychopath (Trey Parker) wreaking havoc on Hollywood. The new villain is admittedly a clever addition, with his being stuck in the '80s opening the film up with gags that poke fun at the era most famous for neon, unsightly shoulder pads, and kitschy fitness regimens. Sadly, the villain’s role in the film is only to provide action to the pedestrian emotional core of the cartoon – Gru’s inherent goodness despite his outward skin-deep villainy.
So Gru reunites with Dru (also voiced by Carell), his long-lost twin brother who secretly wants to be as villainous as his famous brother. Dru is, of course, an inept attempt at some sort of wit.
The brand new character, who is also characterized by a silly accent, only doubles the irritation dealt by the franchise’s stubborn brand of humor. Elsewhere, the minions go on their own separate adventure, tumbling from one mishap to another in varying degrees of comedic success.
Rehashed and recycled
Sure, Despicable Me 3 features a number of new things, but its affinity for formula is too glaring to make the cartoon feel fresh. There is an overreliance on noise, nonsense, and conventional cuteness that it drowns the novelty. Everything feels like a routine, similar to the Saturday morning cartoons whose charms have been unduly diminished by overfamiliarity.
Every stunt, sight gag, and minion-mouthed gibberish feels rehashed and recycled.
Even Carell’s once-upon-a-time humorous fake accent has turned into a grating annoyance. The barrage of bright pinks, blues, and yellows that serve as background to ordinary character designs is more eyesore than spectacle. The real pleasures from this flick are rare and far apart.
Simply put, the cartoon is a beacon of animated mediocrity. – Rappler.com
Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas’ 'Tirad Pass.' Since then, he’s been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.