Welcome to Kids Week: Day 1. This week lasts the full seven days, starting on Sunday and lasting until Saturday, so get ready to hang out and watch some kid movies! I recently got the chance to see Despicable Me 3 in theaters this last week, which makes it the second 2017 film that I’ve seen in a theater. I know. Depressing. But seeing how good my son has been doing in public, I thought I’d take him to his second movie in theaters, given that he’s a fan of this series. So, off we went. Let’s talk about the third movie in the series, and fourth in the entire universe.
“After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother-a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps-one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.” (IMDb)
First impressions: I was almost actually mad at this movie. Honestly. There were four stories going on all at once. There was the main villain storyline, which mostly consisted of the villain making plans for the future. Gru hangs out with his brother, so there is their storyline. There is the minions’ storyline, as everyone left them at home to go see this brother of his. And while Gru is hanging out with his brother, his wife is now bonding with the girls, being a new mom. All four stories are going on simultaneously, and that was really getting on my nerves until I saw what it all accounted for. There’s only way for me to go from a complete zero to full points for that kind of balance/convolution – if all stories collide in the end, and they do, and it’s kind of brilliant.
Alright, so that was my first impression. Let’s go ahead, dig deep, and break this film down. Let’s interpret the stars!
PEOPLE SCORE – 8/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1
Okay, first off, we have the people score, which did good, but didn’t exactly reach perfection. I do feel like some of the acting in the previous films were technically better than the third film. Instead, I felt like this movie was all comedy and little else. The characters, of course, were super memorable, the casting was still perfect as ever, and as I mentioned above, the characters all had an important role to play in the film as well, which turned out to be surprising for me. That being said, we had very little chemistry going on. Yes, the girls were all bonding, but when I think about that versus the bonding between Gru and the girls…there’s just no comparison. Even with Gru bonding with his brother…it was all just silly and didn’t really feel genuine.
WRITING SCORE – 7/10
Dialogue – 1|Balance – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 1|Interesting – 2
Next up, the writing score did okay as well, but it could have definitely been better. There wasn’t anything truly memorable about the dialogue in Despicable Me 3 other than Bratt’s one liner, “I’ve been a bad boy!” – so I can’t really say anything else is memorable. The balanced subcategory nearly got a zero, as I mentioned above, but it ended up impressing me so much, I couldn’t help but give that full points. The story itself is okay, but I’m hard pressed to say it wasn’t really necessary. It mostly rehashed stuff we’ve seen before from Gru, so I’ll give to give both story and originality half points. Now, I still like this series enough so I will say it’s still interesting.
BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2
Next up, we have the BTS score, which did pretty well. The visuals, as always, were done pretty well. Now, while I say the directing and editing were mostly typical and uneventful. It was as advertised, and I liked their use of music in this version…but then again, I just like 80s music.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1
Next up is the narrative arc score, which nearly got a perfect score. The introduction did a great job reminding you about what everyone’s situation is and who the bad guy is. The inciting incident occurs when Gru discovers he has a twin brother. The obstacles are split into four with all the storylines going on, but because they are all connected, it works. The climax is a perfect culmination of everything put together. The falling action is okay, but it really ends on a sort of cliffhanger, not that that’s what it is, but it can be seen like that.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 5/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 1
Now, how entertaining was it? I would say I prefer the other films over this one, but it goes beyond that. I would definitely say it is a fun film that’s entertaining enough to rewatch. It even sucks you in at points, but I can’t really say I’d truly care to buy or own this film. There’s also no real impulse to tell people about the movie, so as far as entertainment goes, it’s just…okay. It’s not as strong of a film for entire families as it is about kids.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 45/50
Kids/Family – 10|Comedy – 10|Sequel – 10|Add something new – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
Now, onto the specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the film. The first one was that it’s a kids movie, so how is the balance between kids and entire families? I would say it’s not as much of a perfect balance as the other films are, but it is certainly there. The comedy is still as silly as ever, as well. As with any sequel, I usually ask if it fits in with the others, yes, and if it adds anything new. Well, I think the whole twin brother aspect is new, but what it ultimately means isn’t really all that new. Finally, is it halfway decent? Yeah, sure.