Despicable Me 3, The Billion Dollar Club, and ED Quick Movie Reviews

despicable_me_3
Image via Shepherd Project
Released June 30, 2017
Rated PG (Action/Rude Humor)
1 hr. 36 min.
Directed by Kyle Balda (The Lorax, Minions), Pierre Coffin (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), and Eric Guillon
Written by Cinco Paul (Horton Hears a Who!, The Secret Life of Pets) and Ken Daurio (The Santa Clause 2, Hop)
Music by Heitor Pereira (Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, The Angry Birds Movie) and Pharrell Williams (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Hidden Figures)
Edited by Claire Dodgson (The Tale of Despereaux, Fantastic Mr. Fox)
Produced by Janet Healy (Shark Tale, Sing) and Christopher Meledandri (Despicable Me, The Lorax)
Starring Steve Carell (The Office, Crazy Stupid Love), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Trey Parker (South Park, Team America: World Police), Miranda Cosgrove (School of Rock, Drake & Josh), Dana Gaier (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), Nev Scharrel, Steve Coogan (Philomena, Rules Don’t Apply), Julie Andrews (Marry Poppins, The Sound of Music), and Jenny Slate (Parks and Recreation, Zootopia)

Perhaps I feel the need to go ahead and put out a quick review on Despicable Me 3 as an act of work toward fulfilling my goal of reviewing each 2017 release I see in 2017. Perhaps I feel duty-bound to put out a review because I really enjoyed the first movie and thought the second movie was pretty decent for what it was. Or perhaps I feel this need so that I can introduce to ED – Music, Movies, Etc. a new movie review category: the Quick Movie Review.

Like the Quick Album Review (which technically debuted here at ED on May 19th with the post “Four New Albums for Quality Pop/Pop Rock Fans”, and which officially debuted on July 30th with “Quick Album Reviews – January & February 2017”), the Quick Movie Review format will enable me to simply write a short review on a movie I’m not going to write a full review on and, without the Quick Review format, I wouldn’t write a review on at all.

So without further ado, here’s my first Quick Movie Review, for Despicable Me 3.

☆☆☆☆

despicable_me_3_pic
Image via Roger Ebert

Quietly, with little fanfare, Despicable Me 3 became one of 2017’s biggest theatrical releases. In fact, according to Box Office Mojo, this animated film recently passed the 1 billion dollar mark, making it the third biggest movie of the year thus far and the sixth most money-making animated movie of all time. While many of us were keeping our eyes on the hauls of other pictures, Despicable Me 3 was truckin’ along.

This may be partially due to Despicable Me 3‘s competition, or lack thereof. What other big 2017 kid’s movies came out? The LEGO Batman Movie? Well-received, but its real run was over when Despicable Me 3 appeared. The Boss Baby, Smurfs, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Cars 3? Boring, boring, boring, boring. Captain Underpants? Reportedly good, but few parents took their kids to see it. Oh, then there’s The Emoji Movie and Nut Job 2, both apparently terrible. Compare these to some of the children’s films available by this time last year: Kung Fu Panda 3, Zootopia, The Jungle Book, Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets, Pete’s Dragon, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Storks. Much heftier competition, for sure.

Beyond the competition angle, Despicable Me 3 is a testament to the box office damage a quality movie can do when it successfully scratches an itch. And it is quality. Though not as good as the first movie, I found it better than the second one and far better than Minions. It’s funny, animated well, and features talented actors in the voice roles. Carell, especially, did a fantastic job with both Gru and the new addition, Gru’s long-lost twin brother, Dru; and Trey Parker is hilarious as a spoof on our current culture’s obsession with the ’80s. In addition, the movie is cute in the best of ways, and it is, I admit, heartwarming in spots.

Hunched-over, long-nosed humans and obnoxious, yellow creatures alike get back their mojo. Plus, it’s still playing in theaters! My grade for Despicable Me 3 is 78%.

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