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With Jim Sabatini

Despicable Me 3

Despicable Me 3
Voices of:  Steve Carell, Jenny Slate, Matt Parker and Kristen Wiig

Rated: PG for action and rude humor.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: June 30, 2017 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.

Latest sharply animated entry from Illumination Entertainment (Sing) looks to be a coveted jewel — not just for them but for families eagerly awaiting another ebullient, amusing, even sweet jaunt featuring Gru and his beloved, scene-stealing minions (who had their own movie a couple of years ago). Even if it's burdened a bit by a heftiness like the antagonist's shoulders in a usual manageable running time.

Despicable Me 3 features the voices of Steve Carell, Jenny Slate, Matt Parker, and Kristen Wiig, as well as co-director Pierre Coffin, with Carell doing double-duty as long-lost more accomplished twin brother of Gru, the blond Dru.

Parker, creator of the long-running subversive South Park, appears to enjoy his sullenly heinous Balthazar Bratt, an acrimonious 1980s child star who commits a heist of sizable proportions to the Michael Jackson smash "Bad" with his flat-top mullet hairdo to try and relive his glory days. As the filmmakers show off their fine attention to period detail.

Gru has put his darker past in the rear-view mirror, but his spunky twin dynamo has an inkling for the illicit, urging him to join forces to snatch what their nemesis has fleeced. Part of the gags include a figurine troop known as the Bratt Pack (as certain cineastes will recall those who populated 1980s pics like The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink and St. Elmo's Fire) as well as the aforementioned breakout critters of the franchise who this time will have many in stitches in how they handle an internment. Clearly, the tetchy, febrile yellow ones voiced unintelligibly by Coffin can be more advantageous and more bearable when employed in brief spurts.

An endearing part of this tale co-directed by Kyle Balda includes Gru's wife and fellow crimefighter Lucy Wilde (a wry Wiig) trying to figure out motherhood with Gru's adopted daughters. But, not to worry Despicable Me 3 doesn't get too gooey for its own good as it raises more than its share of smiles though not as freshly invigorating like the original. It does bode well for continued episodes considering the knotty enmity existing between Gru and Dru and their tumultuous, unquenchable potential.

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Despicable Me 3  B      B               B+         B 

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