Friday, August 4, 2017

Film review: Despicable Me 3

The original Despicable Me was just jam-packed with inventiveness and crazy ideas all at a head- spinning pace. Its premise was that the world was so full of James Bondian villains that they were often tripping over one another.

The film's best gag typifies its anarchic-spirit: "THE BANK OF EVIL - Formerly Lehman Brothers."

By the second film, the producers decided Gru should be a good guy, thereby sucking out all the joy found in the first film.

There's a segment in DM3 where Gru's minions are telling him how much more interesting his life was when he was a villain. And it's hard to argue with them.

And it goes down hill from there. His wife is just a scold really. The villain is stuck in the 80s. He dresses like it's the 80s, he listens to music from the 80s. This joke gets tired real fast.

The leader of the Anti-Villain League shows up long enough to step down and be replaced by a woman with a ... get this ... a really big nose! Her nose is supposed to be hilarious. It isn't. She's just another unnecessary character.

The story is Gru finds his long-unknown about twin, Dru, who, craving a life of excitement, wants Gru to return to a life of crime. This character is voiced by Steve Carrell modifying his voice for Gru. And this role really calls out for stunt casting: Was Stephen Colbert busy?

Either way, Gru takes Dru on a heist, he nearly screws everything up and I couldn't help but think about how Kate Capshaw's helpless character sucked all the fun out of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."

There's also three subplots that sit there limply. The minions revolt and wind up taking over a prison, which is actually a little funny, and Gru's oldest daughter inadvertently misleads a  little boy into thinking she likes him. This goes NOWHERE. The third subplot is his youngest daughter goes on a unicorn hunt which has a cute conclusion, but these subplots feel really detached from the main film.

The first film was more Tex Avery than Walt Disney. The series now is like those watered-down Disney movies from the 70s that were sleeping pills for parents.

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