Min­ions are fin­ger-click­ing good

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - INSIDER -

MIN­IONS might strug­gle to carry an en­tire movie (as their self-ti­tled 2015 spin-off con­firmed), but the goo­glyeyed lit­tle guys steal ev­ery one of their scenes in this work­man­like three­quel.

And their fin­ger-click­ing, black-and-white stripes prison rou­tine is a show­stop­per.

The an­ar­chic en­ergy of the cute yel­low crit­ters is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant now that the for­merly de­spi­ca­ble Gru (Steve Carell) and his fear­less new wife Lucy (Kris­ten Wiig) have set­tled into cosy do­mes­tic­ity with their three girls — Margo (Mi­randa Cos­grove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Nev Schar­rel).

In De­spi­ca­ble Me 3, the film­mak­ers in­tro­duce a long-lost twin brother to fur­ther en­liven the fran­chise (and the silent com­edy of the an­i­mated cred­its se­quences point to the fun that might have been had with the chalk-and-cheese sib­lings).

Dru’s candy-coloured Free­do­nian man­sion pro­vides a wel­come change of scenery for Gru af­ter he is fired by the fe­ro­cious new head of the Anti-Vil­lain League (AVL) for let­ting De­spi­ca­ble Me 3’s new vil­lain, Balt­hazar Bratt (Trey Parker), es­cape.

Un­em­ploy­ment has trig­gered an iden­tity cri­sis for the one-time bad guy — and this is fuelled by his brother’s so­cial and ma­te­rial suc­cess (Gru’s mother has al­ready in­formed him that, when she and her hus­band split the fam­ily down the mid­dle, she got sec­ond pick).

Dru has in­her­ited their su­pervil­lain fa­ther’s for­tune, pig farm and so­phis­ti­cated gad­getry. But not, it turns out, his bad-guy skills.

Af­ter some se­ri­ous brotherly bond­ing that in­volves fast cars, po­lice chases and squeal­ing pork­ers, the broth­ers team up, for dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent rea­sons, to steal the world’s big­gest di­a­mond back from the afore­men­tioned Mr Bratt.

The for­mer child star is suf­fer­ing from an ex­treme case of ar­rested de­vel­op­ment com­bined with mega­lo­ma­ni­a­cal delu­sions — Bratt’s pop­u­lar TV show was taken off the air when the bad boy reached pim­ply, squeaky-voiced pu­berty.

Still sport­ing shoul­der pads, para­chute pants and an ’80s mul­let, the No.1 Michael Jack­son fan is plan­ning to re-en­act the se­ries’ cli­mac­tic final episode for real.

Bratt’s ini­tial heist, dur­ing which he em­ploys su­per­sized pink bub­blegum and a sonic key­tar, is a lot of fun. But the joke has worn a lit­tle thin by the time we get to his sec­ond dance-off with Gru in the final show­down.

The fourth film in the De­spi­ca­ble Me fran­chise is fam­ily friendly and oc­ca­sion­ally inspired.

But de­spite the film­mak­ers’ best at­tempts, the char­ac­ters and the set-up are be­gin­ning to feel just a lit­tle over­fa­mil­iar.


“This does not mean that we are go­ing back to be­ing vil­lains”


The Min­ions steal the show in the fran­chise re­turn.

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