Sound Off! Despicable Me 3

Welcome back to Sound Off!, a semi-regular column where members of Speculative Chic gather together to chat about the latest BIG THING in entertainment. This time, gather your minions close and discuss Despicable Me 3, which premiered in the United States on Friday, June 30, 2017.

Sound Off! is meant to be a reaction, but not necessarily a review. After all, while we are all individuals, even mutual love of something (or hate) can come from different places: you may find everything from critique to fangirling to maybe even hate-watching.

Now, join Sherry Peters as she talks about Despicable Me 3! [Note: This post is spoiler-free!]


Sherry: I am unapologetic about how big a fan I am of the Despicable Me franchise. What’s not to love about cute cartoon kids, fluffy unicorns, minions, and villainy? So, it was a given that I was going to get myself to the theater for the the fourth installment.

In Despicable Me 3, Gru and Lucy fail to capture Balthazar Bratt, an 80s child-star-turned-supervillain, and are fired from the Anti-Villain League. Gru then finds out he has a twin brother, and he is invited to bring the family to visit. It turns out that Gru and Dru’s father was a brilliant super-villain. Dru is desperate to live up to their father’s legacy but is woefully inept. He wants Gru to teach him the ropes and return to villainy.

I don’t go into these movies with great expectations, looking for deep social commentary, or even the best story. I go in looking for a good time, a few laughs, and a chance to enjoy the cuteness and silliness of it all. Despicable Me 3 delivers.

There was something I was looking for, though, in this specific movie. The first two Despicable Me films featured the cuteness of little Agnes and the teen attitude of Margo. Edith, the middle girl, really felt forgotten, and yet I always thought she and Gru had the most in common. She gravitated to his weapons, checked out his iron maiden, was training like a ninja. The character of Edith has so much potential that just had not been tapped, and I hoped that it would be in Despicable Me 3. She definitely had a bigger role, and she did pull off a couple mischievous pranks, but they really weren’t up to the standard I expected from her. (I blame the writers, not Edith.)

The minions weren’t utilized in the way we’re used to, either. They mostly had their own story line, apart from assisting Gru. Given their origins, which we learned about in Minions, it made sense that they would want a return to villainy and strike out on their own. It worked as its own story line, and yet it felt wrong. They are minions, after all, meaning they are servile and subordinate to Gru.

Having said that, Agnes is as adorable as ever in her search for unicorns, Edith is trouble in the best Edith-way possible, and Margo still has that early teen love/hate temperament. The minions are enjoyable and spunky with their own attitude, and hearing them sing Gilbert and Sullivan’s “I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General” was worth it on its own. The gadgets Gru and Dru have to work with are fantastic. Balthazar Bratt is a reasonably competent super-villain, but for me, the best part of his scenes was the 80s soundtrack that went with his acts of villainy. I’m pretty sure all the Michael Jackson, Van Halen, Nena, Madonna, and Olivia Newton-John was for the parents (and me) in the audience, not the children.

While I would hardly rate this as the best movie ever, it was a lot of fun, and for this Despicable Me fan, it delivered. I can’t wait for Minions 2 in 2020.

5 Comments

  • Shara White July 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    This seems like such a cute franchise. I’m woefully behind on it, having only seen the very first movie. I look forward to catching up!

    Reply
  • Lane Robins July 4, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    I was planning on seeing it, didn’t manage it, and part of that was the trailers–I was worried about the one trope it might use. I loved Lucy and Gru together and the trailers seem to play her off as the “killjoy” for Gru/Dru’s adventures. I hate that trope where the sensible woman is the one who just wanders around saying don’t do that. How did they treat her?

    Reply
    • Sherry Peters July 26, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      I was concerned about that too, but I found that they cut a lot of that, or maybe it just wasn’t as noticeable. But no, they still don’t treat Lucy right. Her focus is on how to be a Mom. Though it is entertaining, and she does still kick some ass.

      Reply
  • Kelly McCarty July 9, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    My mom loves the first two Despicable Me movies more than any child. I liked the first one best. I wondered if between this and the Minions movie if the franchise will run out of ideas.

    Reply
    • Sherry Peters July 26, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      The Minions Movie certainly did feel like they’d run out of ideas (though I still enjoyed it). Not to give any spoilers, but I think they ended this one in a place where they can expand and have new ideas come to play.

      Reply

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