Michael's Movie Grade: B
One of the best of the Despicable Me movies.
It is obvious that the folks at Illumination have gotten these films down to a science. They have come to know exactly what audiences'' want from these films and just how to provide it. Director Kyle Balda keeps the movie moving at a very fast pace and never lets up on the laughs. Not every joke may land, but in the Marx Brothers tradition there will be a brigade of jokes following and many of them will make up for the few clunkers. It doesn't hurt that this movie has some of the strongest set pieces done with these characters. The scenes involving them taken over the plane or learning kung-fu are really good and certainly made me laugh. I love that unlike many animated features today, this franchise truly embraces its inner cartoon and is not afraid simply to be a series of feature length cartoons. The art of pure cartoon insanity is sadly fading, and I love to see it be able to take center stage in a major movie franchise. While this may not be up to the standards of Looney Tunes or Tex Avery, it is still delightful. Despite this though the film still has pretty good story. While it is true that you can see what is coming, the story still hits all the marks it needs to. Despite his villainy, Gru remains a very likable character and one that is easy to root for. His want to become a very feels so sincere and real that we actually kind of root for him. It doesn't hurt that he works against villains that are worse than he is, making him seem like a hero in comparison, while still letting him do villainous things. The emotion beats of this movie may not make you tear up, but they do their job in making you care about what happens in the story. Plus there is a really fun action scene at the climax. The film also delivers a nice message about letting others into your life and to always stay true to those you care about. Surprisingly this message is delivered in an effective way that never feels heavy handed and never takes away from the silly cartoon comedy.
As much as the fast pace works for the comedy, it can make much of the story feel a little rushed. There is also the fact that as much as this story can work, it is very similar to many other movies, and you can always easily see what is coming next.
I doubt that this movie is going to make fans out of those who hate the Minions, but for those of us who had a good time with the previous films, this movie delivers exactly what we want.