The BackShop Journal

A Web Magazine of Arts, Culture and Orthodox Christian Spirituality

Despicable Me 3 (USA, 2017)

The return of one of the most colourful characters in all of animation industry is even more intense than the previous ones. The film tries to juggle three full stories at the same time, and only partly succeeds in giving each sufficient time to be comprehended. It is a carnival of blasts, maniacal chases, loud rave music and slapstick humour. What keeps it entertaining is the infallibility of Gru's unique persona and the hilarious, crude humour of the Minions.

In the third installment of the most successful animation by Illumination Entertainment, Gru fights Balthazar Bratt, a supervillain who is on a revenge mission against Hollywood because it cut the action series in which he starred as a bad boy when he entered puberty. Bratt continues to live in the fantasy world of the TV show, and repeats all the tricks his character once acted out. In a parallel plot, Gru meets his long-lost twin brother Dru, who looks exactly like him, but with a wavy blond hair. Dru, the joyful and clumsier version of Gru (also voiced by Steve Carell), tries to convince his twin to get back to villainy. He lives in Fridonia, a non-specified Mediterranean country with all the stereotypes of a Greece or Italy. Meanwhile, Lucy, Gru's wife, is trying to learn the trade of her newly acquired motherhood. The three of them participate in snatching an enormous stolen diamond from Balthazar and defeating him in the final standoff.

The character of Balthazar Bratt represents a nostalgic parody of the 1980s, with its music, fashion and hairdos. Bratt's and Gru's "dance fight" is so absurd that it is bound to draw at least a wide, genuine smile from the most indifferent viewer. Minions go to their previous role of sidekicks, which suits them better because of the limitation of their characters. Albeit original and comical, the occasional vulgar joke is their ultimate reach. 

Overall, the animation is not as disappointing as its spin-off/prequel Minions. Steve Carell's humour delivered in a funny foreign accent, which keep the franchise witty and entertaining even for adults, is now doubled by extending it to another character, his twin brother. Finally, the perpetuation of James Bond-like electronic gadgets and the grotesque silliness of almost every scene is what makes the series ultimately retain its path to success with audiences of all ages.

Svetozar Postic

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