Despicable Me 3: Movie Review

Updated on July 7, 2017
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Despicable Me 3
Despicable Me 3 | Source

Once upon a time super-villain Gru was actually despicable; it wasn’t that long ago that he was shrinking and stealing the moon, for heaven’s sake. But adopting cutie-pies Margo, Edith, and Agnes has softened him considerably, leading him to not only get married but also (gasp!) join the Anti-Villain League.

Illumination Entertainment, however, can’t very well switch up the entire franchise and start calling them Likable Me movies. So we get Despicable Me 3, a sweet and charming sequel that entertains well enough but suffers not only from a shaky script but also from not having enough of the delicious despicable-ness that got the franchise off to such a rousing start.

Since Gru (Steve Carell) can’t be the villain anymore, Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) steps up to the plate; he’s a disgraced former child star from the 80s, hell-bent on making Hollywood pay for shunning him. But first he needs to steal a really big diamond to power the giant robot he plans on using for his destructive mayhem. When he gets it, escaping the clutches of both Gru and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) in the process, our hero (née villain) gets fired.

Shortly after, Gru gets a letter from the twin brother he never knew he had—ridiculously wealthy pig farmer Dru (also Carell), who is living in far-away Freedonia. The pair decide to team up to foil Bratt and restore Gru’s good name.

At the same time, the Minions quit in protest of their leader’s newfound goodness and then get arrested for trespassing at the taping of an American Idol-style TV show (after first slaying a Minion-speak version of “I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General”).

And the three girls, who accompanied Gru, Dru, and Lucy to Freedonia, set off on a quest to find a real-life unicorn for little Agnes (Nev Scharrel) after, of course, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove) fends off the affections of a town boy whose cheese she ate at a local festival.

Meanwhile Lucy is hoping the girls warm to her and begin to accept her as their adoptive mother.

If that all sounds just a wee-bit disjointed, you’re not alone. The script by franchise vets Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio tries to do a million things at once, never giving any one particular plot point the attention it deserves. While there are plenty of little funny moments, the overall effect is that we’re watching a handful of Despicable Me/Minions shorts cobbled together into a not-very-coherent story.

Plus, after the rousing success of 2015’s stand-alone Minions movie, it’s even more apparent that the little yellow bulbous troublemakers are the real stars of the franchise. And they’re unfortunately relegated to the distant background here.

That being said, co-directors Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda have plenty of fun with the eye candy, offering a solid amount of 3D dazzle, and far more visual puns hit than miss.

Carell has made it clear that he’s done voicing Gru (and, presumably, Dru) as main characters but is open to returning for the occasional cameo. And with Minions out-earning each of the Despicable Me films so far (and Minions 2 slated for a 2020 release), it seems like the Gru side of things may be coming to an end. Regrettable, perhaps, but after this scattershot third installment, also understandable.


3/5 stars

Worth the 3D glasses?

While there are indeed a handful of 3D-happy moments, there aren't really enough of them to warrant coughing up the few extra bucks. Most of them are a few-seconds-each bits of flying Bratt dolls or Minions careening toward your head. Pass.

'Despicable Me 3' trailer


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)