The best thing I can tell you about this film is that this one is at least better than the awful 2nd film and the ho-hum Minions film. What has happened to this franchise? The first film is a lovable tale with a good story that everyone fell in love with. But then people fell too in love with the Minions, and the franchise became a product placement like all the Cars films are. I can’t even remember the 2nd film, only that the Minions stole the show and Gru met Kristen Wiig’s characters, and there was some Mexican bad guy. This film has a more memorable villain, thanks to the comedic voice talents of South Park’s Trey Parker, but even he can’t even save the film from having too many subplots, too much slapstick humor and not enough smart original jokes, and and uninspired main plot. The minions fortunately or unfortunately however you want to look at it, of course steal the show entirely.
Yeah, the two funniest bits in the film are the minions accidentally interrupting a singing competition and the minions life in jail after they leave Gru because “he’s not villainous enough.” So that’s one plot point, let’s count all the other in a 90 minute film. 2. Kristen Wiig’s character wanting to be a good new mother. 3. Agnes wanting to find a real unicorn (the middle child doesn’t get a subplot surprisingly. 4. The older daughter having to ward away this young Danish boy who she took a bite of cheese from (I know, lame, and it’s solved pretty damn quickly that it isn’t even really much of a subplot). 5. Gru dealing with his new long lost brother Dru. 6. Trey Parker’s Balthazar Bratt becoming insane after the cancellation of his tv show and having no reason to take over the world other than he wants to be his character that was on the show and be an excellent “bad boy.” 7. Gru and Kristen Wiig (I don’t care enough to know her characters name) getting fired from the saving the world league they were in and trying to get back in. Jesus.
7 plots and subplots all in the span of 90 minutes. And you could feel it too. The film is way too overstuffed. They could come up with one or two main plots and make a loving, sweet, and coeherant story. Instead they basically ignore the children (which their plot made the first film so sweet, and the children are completely ignored in the second film) and instead focus on slapstick humor between Gru and his brother, and of course, the Minions. Didn’t the Minions get their own movie so they could concentrate on trying to tell an actual story in this third outing? At least that’s what the filmmakers told us when this started getting made. Maybe halfway through they couldn’t come up with any ideas, said “fuck it,” and threw everything out the window.
This film has hardly any original jokes. Everything feels borrowed from other films and most of the jokes are just people falling and getting hurt kind of humor, tons of overused slapstick. The writing here is the laziest since…well, I guess Cars 3, haha. I mean, they couldn’t have come up with another main story featuring the girls mainly, combine that with the good mother thing from Wiig, get rid of the other brother angle, keep Trey Parker (who is the best part of this film by the way and seems like he is happy to be doing something else other than South Park), and it be at least half way decent? It’s been several years since the 2nd one, and you would’ve thought they would’ve learned from their mistakes, but I guess not. Maybe it is time to hire some new writers as well.
There is a but to all this. The but is that kids will enjoy it no matter what. They will love the slapstick stuff, love the minions, love another unicorn story with Agnes, love the ending with the bubble gum town and ripping off the end of Age of Ultron. They will love every second of this film, because kids do not know any better. Which is fine, I’m going to experience all that stuff in several years when my child grows up. But if you are going to make a movie for kids, and ones that adults will need to take their kids too, at least make it decent for the adults as well and not insult their intelligence. The voice work is still great from everyone, even Carrell, who I thought always has done fantastic work in these, but the substance does not match up to style here. At least I can say it was better than 2, but that again isn’t saying all that much. It’s despicable I couldn’t like this film better.