HOLLYWOOD—I really haven’t laughed a lot in the recent weeks between juggling a lot in my chaotic work schedule, but man was I surprised at the level of humor and laughs in the third installment in the highly popular “Despicable Me” franchise. “Despicable Me 3” is a hilarious hoot of fun that will have the kids thoroughly entertained and the adults just as entertained as well. Be aware that is a rare element in most animated flicks, but this is a franchise that understands its core audience is children, but they still want to bring laughs along the way for the adults in the theater as well.
We are reunited yet again with Gru (voice of Steve Carell), who most of you may know was an actual villain in the first film. In the second chapter, Gru started to realize he was more a hero than a villain and with the three girls: Margo (voice of Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (voice of Dana Gaier) and Agnes (voice of Nev Scharrel) a core part of his family, Gru seems content with life. I mean Gru is even married now to Lucy (voice of Kristen Wiig) and has become an Anti-Villain agent. The movie definitely presents the notion that anyone is capable of change.
However, like all families, Gru has a twin brother, Dru (also voice of Steve Carell) who pays his brother a visit. Most is going well for Gru until he finds himself going toe-to-toe with Balthazar Bratt (voice of Trey Parker), an 80s child star, whose career is cut short and he personifies a character he used to portray. I love this character, whose sense of fashion style was definitely dated, his love for music and just the pure chaos he creates through the use of bubble gum.
A hiccup in the job to capture Bratt leads to Gru and Lucy’s termination from their jobs, that delivers another blow when Gru learns his hilarious and I mean hilarious Minions have decided to abandon him because of his disinterest in being a villain anymore. I mean there is a scene involving two minions, a large pig and a small pig that left me almost falling out of the theater seat. These little creatures just say the oddest things, and do the wittiest things, that you cannot help but omit a giggle or two.
It is Dru’s return to his brother’s life that brings a bit of perspective for Gru about his family heritage and the fact that evil does indeed run in the family, courtesy of their father who was a supervillain just like Gru. Gru and Dru balance each other out; Gru is more rational, while Dru is a bit more impulsive. It’s a battle of good vs. evil and when you throw family into the mix it only complicates things, but they united for a common threat in Bratt who is determined to destroy Hollywood for ending his stardom way too soon.
The thing that works so well for “Despicable Me 3” is that it has plenty of heart. There is warmth to these characters and the importance of family is reiterated throughout the film as the narrative plays out. As a spectator there is a sense of joy watching this movie, sprinkled with laughter. The entire family will enjoy the flick from start to finish.