This one’s worth skipping.

How sweet

Like the target audience will give a shit.

I must admit something. Ignoring the violently unfunny Minions (nevertheless loved the world over by susceptible toddlers, middle-aged Facebook aunts, or any young adult who shares the standards of both demographics), the Despicable Me franchise is not as uninspired or amazingly forgettable as certain other things Illumination Entertainment have given us. With this second (!) sequel to the first film, it seems to be at an end.

For one thing, Despicable Me 3 opts for the “long-lost (and never once mentioned) relative” cliché by giving lovable supervillain Gru (Steve Carrell) a richer and succesful twin brother (also voiced by Carrell). I mainly saw it for Trey Parker, trying to ignore the reality that Trey Parker ought to know better than this.

As we meet Gru yet again, he has abandoned his old ways and is working full-time for the Anti-Villain League. He works alongside Agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig), not to be confused with a similarly named actor in a certain medium, with whom he also watches over “the three kids” Agnes, Edith, and Margo (Nev Scharrel, Dana Gaier, Miranda Cosgrove). The brother, who of course is named Dru, enters the picture after Gru and Lucy are fired from AVL and tries to persuade his brother to go back to his life of supervillainy. As it turns out, Dru wants to learn, because their father always saw him as a letdown in that respect.

Meanwhile there’s Balthazar Bratt (Parker), a washed-up actor who plans to steal a diamond in order to power a robot and eviscerate Hollywood. For reasons unrelated to those of Bratt, this is an entirely understandable aspiration. I can’t help but feel as if Bratt may have worked fine in a different film altogether, possibly one that focuses exclusively on him and his career, as it were.

This was really painful to save; deleting it now.

We also have Julie Andrews (which shouldn’t shock you too much if consider Princess Diaries) as Gru and Dru’s mother, Russell Brand reprising his role as Dr. Nefario, and, oh right, the Minions – with their babbling language and ever so inspired “pieces of corn with goggles” designs. In this one, they’re involved in a tangentially related subplot where they desert Gru due to his new, non-villainous lifestyle and get themselves locked up in prison for trespassing. Anyone with a social media and/or Deviantart account will tell you they are responsible for worse, and it’s not aiding supervillains and dictators.

We get plenty of jokes related to the things butts do interspersed with stuff that will fly over the heads of anyone that finds that sort of thing funny. I get that Illumination aimed to make something that both kids and adults can enjoy (the latter group will get the most out of Trey Parker’s character and his 1980’s references), but I think most kids would be bored by this movie whenever those yellow things they frequently see on pillow casings and popsicles aren’t on-screen.

There isn’t much to be felt when it comes to the messages about Family either. Nor is there anything particularly interesting about the animation, except maybe the physical comedy of Balthazar Bratt. I would make the prediction that Despicable Me 3 will be a fart in the wind, but then we must recall that there are plenty of people out there who find farts to be very, very funny.

My advice is to see if your local theater is playing Baby Driver yet or if you can go have a laugh at the sheer absurdity of The Last Knight, which is far better than watching something as inoffensive as this. And the next time you get Minions merchandise incessantly shoved in your face, rest assured that next month’s major animated picture won’t be a pandering cavalcade of cringe. I am talking, of course, about The Emoji Movie. What a time to be sentient.

Funny story: During the “English year” of my Language and Communcation program at the local university, we were given a course in Linguistics, during which there were two oral presentations about the subject “constructed languages”. My group’s presentation was about the syntax, grammar rules, and other intricacies of such fictitious languages as Klingon, Dothraki, and Na’vi. The other one was about how “Minionese” kinda sounds like Italian sometimes.

2/5 whatever