Sunday, 23 July 2017

#57 DESPICABLE ME 3


Starring Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Steve Coogan, Jenny Slate, Dana Gaier and Julie Andrews. Written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Budget $80 million, running time 90 minutes long.

Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are sacked from the Anti-Villain League for failing to capture Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a former 1980s child actor who's grown up to become a super-villain after he steals a big diamond for his own nefarious purposes, well actually for the third act and final showdown macguffin. Added to that double-dose of adult-life doo-doo comes the surprising news that Gru isn't the only child he was led to believe he was, indeed he has an identical twin brother called Dru (also Steve Carell) who was brought up by his father. We learn that both parents took one of the twins and raised them oblivious to the other. Then the Minions, apart from three, quit cos Gru has turned good and promptly get arrested and thrown into jail. Meanwhile, Balthazar is off on a mission of destruction with the big diamond (see told you) and something even bigger! Lucy (utterly wasted in this film) goes shopping and tries to bond with the three girls. Oh, and talking of them, the youngest daughter wants a real-life, honest-to-goodness unicorn, before the status-quo is returned to normal in time for the next instalment. Blimey, talk about 'never rains but it pours.'

There's a serious amount of plot and story to cram into, DM3's relatively brief, running time of 90 minutes, indeed there's too much because ultimately the film suffers from it. You never truly get a chance to engage with the film or one of the many different plot points before another takes over and that sadly lessens the impact of the film. It starts off wonderfully and very funny and the bits between Gru and Dru are delightful and very funny, as are the bits with the unicorn hunt, and the bits with the Minions, and the bits with Bratt building up to his big third-act macguffin thingie, and... and well with every thing, but sadly it's as a whole that the film comes apart. There's too much of everything and not enough time to do any of it any justice. Plus there's a real sense that when the first 70 minutes of the film was first screened someone pointed out the film makers had lost the plot and so the third act gets shoe-horned into proceedings. Plus since that showdown is extremely reminiscent of the exact same Macguffin in the Minnions Movie it feels neither fresh, or that funny. Just loud and flashy.

The bottom line is this, cos I'm waffling and this damn review has taken me over a week to write and if I wait any longer it'll be the first review I've written that'll come out after the release of the film.

The animation is superb, the inventiveness is a delight  and it looks wonderful thanks to the French studio what made it. And It's very funny movie in parts, Carell and indeed Carell are both very funny as Gru and Dru, as is Trey Parker. But it's a case of the unlearned lesson of 'less is more'. Yes, you'll have a good time but the 3rd act is just too generic and obvious and it weakens what has gone on before.

Gru and now Dru are great characters, as are Lucy, the daughters and the Minions. They deserve better, or atleast something less formulaic next time please. Plus bring back Balthazar, he's awesome!

7/10

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