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There are two themes that define the Despicable Me series. One is the growth of a hero in a former supervillain. The other is the growth of that hero's family. At the end of each of the first two Despicable Me movies, the main character Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) expands his family beyond just his mother. First, Gru adopts three girls as foster children. Then he marries the heroic agent Lucy (voiced by Kristen Wiig). And now, in Despicable Me 3, Gru meets his twin brother Dru (also voiced by Carell), someone Gru never knew existed.
That's not to say the hero-villain theme is ignored. In fact, the character of Dru provides an interesting way to explore that theme. You see, Dru is a supervillain just like Gru used to be. While the two brothers bond, Gru finds himself face to face with the way of life he left behind. Yet, Gru is strong for the most part. He doesn't simply give up heroism just like that. Both Gru and Dru agree to foil another supervillain, though for different purposes. Dru wants to do it for supervillain glory, but Gru needs to do it to redeem himself with the Anti-Villain League that has now fired him.
The villain in this movie would be best described as someone obsessed with living in the past. Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker) was once the child star of Evil Bratt, a 1980s TV show centering on a kid villain. His popularity during the show was great, but did not last long. Ever since that show ended, Bratt has dreamt of getting revenge on Hollywood, even going as far as living his life as the character he played on television. He spends his days in a highly secured fortress, plotting his grand scheme while continuing to live an 80s lifestyle.
I better not forget to mention the silly little yellow Minions working for Gru. After all, some people might be watching Despicable Me just for the funny things the Minions do. This movie is, thankfully, no exception. I should note, though, that the trailers for Despicable Me 3 present most of the Minion jokes in this movie, so if you watch those trailers and then Despicable Me 3, you'll only see a few new Minion jokes.
Despicable Me 3 is just like the first two movies: 90 minutes of simple fun and excitement in the context of a simple yet engaging plot. There are plenty of good scenes to make you laugh, smile, or just keep watching. It should appeal to kids and to adults with an inner child. And if you love the series, you will likely look forward to Despicable Me 4, after seeing the surprise ending in this movie. I do expect the next movie to answer one question I have now: will anyone else become a new part of Gru's growing family?
Anthony's Rating: 7/10