When last we met, the dastardly Gru (Steve Carell) had been turned to the side of good by new wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig), as well as his trio of adopted “leetle gorls”. But is Gru really a changed grump, or is it a case of once a bad guy, always a bad guy?
Enter shoulder-padded supervillain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker). He’s a former ’80s child star who hit the skids rapidly due to puberty, but having totally gulped the Kool Aid he’s lost track of the line between the TV role of a Gabbo-like “bad little boy” and real life. Yes, he’s bad, he’s bad, he’s really, really bad – and he’s got the moonwalking chops to prove it… along with the explosive bubble gum.
Gru is still under the employ of the Anti-Villain League, until a failed takedown of Bratt sees both he and Lucy sacked. Crushing it? Hardly. Little Agnes has even tried to help by selling her unicorn – and it was SO fluffy! But then comes word that – whaaaa?! Gru has a twin brother, named Dru (also Steve Carell). A meeting is arranged and he’s everything that Gru isn’t – rich, stylish and, well, not bald. But he’s been a failure in the family business of evilness, and wants to tempt Gru back into the life. Will our anti-antihero succumb to the temptation?
Hey, we got all this way without mentioning the Minions! Gru’s ever-dedicated but wickedness-craving servants have started to lose the vibe. They need to be naughty! Cue an exodus in search of nastier pastures that sees them running the gamut from a talent show invasion to a prison stint. Will they ever get back to the Gru life, or are they lost to him forever?
While Despicable Me 2 didn’t quite get the balance right in keeping adults and kids equally amused throughout – we say this from firsthand experience with a Minion-worshipping five-year-old – this third outing gets things more bang-on than Phil Collins attacking his tom-toms. From choice ’80s cuts (Michael Jackson, Madonna, A-ha, Nena) bumping it with new Pharrell tracks, plenty of genuinely clever-funny era-related gags (thank you, Van Halen) and just the right amount of slapstick, Despicable Me 3 is genuinely superb all-family entertainment that will have adults fighting their kids for those Happy Meal Minions toys.
With Pixar seemingly wanting to make movies more for adults than kids nowadays, the likes of Minions, The Secret Life of Pets and Sing have seen Illumination Entertainment hop in and steal that perfectly balanced kid/adult space. We’re not pulling on your leg, Despicable Me 3 totally seals the deal. How cunning, how evil… how perfectly despicable!
In cinemas: June 15, 2017
Starring: The voices of Steve Carell, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker
Directed by: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin