Movies, Books & Disney+

Review: “Despicable Me 3” Offers 80s Nostalgia and a Lot of Laughs

Hi everyone!

Despicable Me 3 is now out in theaters, and we had the chance to preview it a couple of days ago. I have been a big fan of the franchise (especially the Minions) since the first film debuted in 2010. While the third installment doesn’t best either of the other two films, there is a lot of fun to be found in the new movie. One of my favorite aspects is all the 80s throwback scenes and references – I was a teenager during that decade, so it’s nostalgic for me. But even if you don’t remember the 80s, there is a lot more to like about Despicable Me 3.

Gru (Steve Carell) still has an adventurous life without villainy and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) is adjusting to life as a mom to three girls. Gru gets fired from the Anti-Villain League due to not capturing villain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), who was once a child star in the 80s and has never left that decade outwardly and inwardly. Lucy also ends up being terminated. Bratt wants to steal the biggest diamond in the world, and this is one of several story threads that play out during the film. Soon, Gru learns that he has a long-lost twin brother named Dru (also voiced by Carell) – Dru is much more blessed in the hair department than Gru, though in most other ways they look just alike. Gru’s mom (Julie Andrews) confirms that they are twins, saying that the parents actually had divorced and each took a son and then never contacted the other. The one thing the two brothers have in common is that each was a disappointment to his parent.

Gru, Lucy and the girls head to Dru’s home in Freedonia. Dru lives in a massive mansion built from a pig farming business, and pigs are a recurring theme as well at this point. Dru wants to be a super villain like his brother was, and his gadgetry looks like it came out of a James Bond film. Gru doesn’t want to be a villain again, but he is up for the adventure with his brother, with both of them having different outcomes in mind.

The Minions do figure into the film and they provide fun comic scenes, but they aren’t quite as front and center as they have in the past. Some end up in jail, and a couple of others are still with Gru and his family. Just thinking about all the plot lines in the film, it’s amazing what was stuffed into 90 minutes – it felt longer, but not in a bad way. Agnes (now voiced by Nev Scharrel) is still into unicorns, and ends up in search of one with Edith (Dana Gaier) while the family is based in Freedonia. Margo (Miranda Cosgrove) is finding her footing with her new mom. Gru and Dru go through their own angst trying to figure out their relationship as they go after Bratt, who is all about the bubble gum, 80s music, and dance battles.

Despicable Me 3 is just a really fun romp, not as strong as it’s predecessors in that the movie bounces around quite a bit to get to its ending. But I laughed out loud a lot, and the stress of the drive to the theater – 2 hours through thunderstorms – melted quickly. I look forward to seeing Despicable Me 3 again soon.

Despicable Me 3 is rated PG in part due to a little off-color humor, though it’s minimal and kids will laugh. One of those scenes is in the first official trailer above. This is a family film that is all about family.

This summer, you can meet Gru, Dru and the Minions (including the jail Minions) at Universal Studios Orlando through August 19th, 2017! Here are our two videos from our last visit to Universal. The first features Gru and Dru and two Minions.

And here are the Minions in jail.