U – 90mins – 2017 – 3D
GRU GONE GOOD
Happily married to Lucy (Kristen Ghostbusters Wiig) and living a respectable life as a father to his three adopted girls, former supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) is now a top agent for the Anti-Villain League. But when new blood takes over the AVL, Gru and Lucy find themselves thrown to the curb for failing to apprehend former child-star-turned-jewel-thief Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker). Will reuniting with his long-lost twin brother, Dru (also Carell), see Gru back on a path to heroism, or will Dru coerce him to return to his shady past?
As gigglesome as the French-mumbling miniature yellow henchmen undoubtedly can be, I’ve never been hugely enamoured with Illumination’s uber-successful Despicable Me film series. So, it seems remarkable that, for me, it was third time’s a charm with this latest 3D computer-generated sequel – particularly when the synopsis so loudly yells hackneyed money-spinner. Perhaps my proclivity was buoyed by an 80s-obsessed antagonist who dresses like Prince and dances to MJ (“I’ve been a Baaaaaad boy!”)? But the zany, irreverent humour just seemed to land for me, even if the Minions (Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud) do still skew towards the infantile.
“Son of a Betamax!”
It clearly helps that the screenwriters of the first two instalments (as well as one of the directors) have stayed with the franchise, rather than farming off the job to outside scribes who try to crib and intensify their pitch-perfect style (as was the sad case with the groan-worthy Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2). Here, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio strike a perfect balance between yuks and awws by separating the ever-increasing cast into opposing pairs – gifting them all time to shine as they iron out the natural tension on the way to a happy ending.
CR@B’s Claw Score: