It’s a standard kiddie cartoon: noisy, colorful and forgettable. But it does have the Minions to bring the funny. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 4.
It’s the Minions to the rescue in “Despicable Me 3.”
Whenever the picture from the Illumination animation studio sags into scenes of frantic yelling, which is often, it’s up to the little yellow Twinkie-shape mischief makers to show up and bring the funny. And there is no segment funnier than the one where they launch into a rousing opera chorus that, sung in signature Minion gibberish, is sublime in its silliness. Its giddy choreography and delirious finale, complete with skyrocketing streamers of bright-pink toilet paper, are flat-out hilarious.
Movie Review ★★½
‘Despicable Me 3,’ with the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel, Trey Parker. Directed by Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda and Eric Guillon, from a screenplay by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. 90 minutes. Rated PG for action and rude humor. Several theaters.
That scene and others, such as one showing the Minions ruling the roost in a maximum-security prison — causing the other inmates to cower and flee their intimidating massed Minioness, with their finger-popping “West Slde Story”-inspired strutting — are compact and packed with inventiveness. They’re a welcome respite from the rest of the movie, which — even at a relatively short 90 minutes — feels bloated and excessively manic.
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The frantically manic villain, Balthazat Bratt, a resentful former TV child star (voiced by Trey Parker) who never got over the cancellation of his show in the ’80s when he hit puberty, causes retired master thief and Minion meister Gru (Steve Carell) no end of grief as they battle for possession of a priceless purple diamond.
At least as hysteric is Dru (also Carell), the twin brother Gru never knew he had. Clad in bright white (compared with Gru’s gloomy grays), Dru is everything the bald Gru is not: insufferably cheery, fabulously wealthy and blessed with a full head of wavy blond hair. However, he envies Gru’s bad-guy reputation and wants the two of them to team up as master villains. Gru, now a responsible married family man with three adopted young kids, resists at first but later gives in to temptation.
A scream-filled high-speed car chase, a shrieky assault on Bratt’s fortresslike hideout and a screechy final battle that practically levels Hollywood ensue.
Gru’s wife, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), is on hand to try to keep her hubby on the straight and narrow and to be a good, caring mom to her adopted brood.
Unlike Pixar’s pictures, with their multiple layers of meaning that make them appealing to adults and kids, there’s not much below the surface in “Despicable Me 3.” It’s a standard kiddie cartoon: noisy, colorful and forgettable.