Minions are finger-clicking good
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.
NOW SCREENING ( SELECT VMAX AND GOLD CLASS)
“This does not mean that we are going back to being villains”
GRU TO HIS MINIONS AS THEY CELEBRATE BEING VILLAINS AGAIN IN DESPICALBLE ME 3
The Minions steal the show in the franchise return.