In the clamor of anticipation for most of the animated films set to arrive during the 2017 year in animation, it’s easy to forget that one of the most reviled studios in the industry (at least, according to our readers) has a movie coming out too.
Yes, I’m talking about Illumination Entertainment and its sole feature film for 2017: Despicable Me 3. The first full trailer for the film dropped this week, promising a big-screen return for the franchise that made Illumination Entertainment into an up-and-coming juggernaut. Watch it below:
As shown in the trailer, Despicable Me 3 picks up the continuing adventures of Gru (Steve Carell), now a married man and presumably now an agent/associate of the Anti-Villain League. He and his wife Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) have been given a new assignment: apprehending Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a former washed-up child star – who appears to be eternally stuck in the ’80s – bent on world domination. Oh yeah, and Gru’s going to meet his long-lost twin brother Dru (also played by Carell) who isn’t in this trailer.
Given my misgivings with Illumination Entertainment’s previous offerings (more articles on those later), I personally have to say that I liked the trailer more than I didn’t. For one thing, a distinct lack of Minion presence is quite refreshing (they do appear near the end, in case you thought Illumination was going to retire its money-makers). Also, while the creation of a villain who’s a complete ’80s throwback is par for the course from Illumination, I admire the inventiveness of the character’s actions and interactions, especially where the use of his gadgets were concerned. Combine that with the equally-as-inventive use of James Bond-esque technology/imagery and you have a neat little sequence in the trailer that displays a consistent strong point of the franchise: creative visual set-pieces.
Yet, as much as I liked the trailer, there’s a part of me that still remains unimpressed. With Illumination Entertainment regulars Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio back on as screenwriters once more, the fear that Despicable Me 3 will give in to Illumination Entertainment’s usual pitfalls has not ceased. I still see a lot of the mile-a-minute, hit-and-miss jokes that are missing more than hitting. For example, Gru’s display of public indecency at the end will either have you laughing or groaning at the top of you lungs (I was only slightly amused). Also, while there is fun to be had in the idea of who Balthazar Bratt is as a character, it says a lot about Paul and Daurio’s low-hanging-fruit approach to comedy that he’s literally just an excuse for them to make a bunch of jokes and references to/about ’80s pop culture.
But as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I would love to be proven wrong. If Despicable Me 3 can walk back on many of the faults that made Despicable Me 2 a less-than-spectacular viewing experience – the second act that goes nowhere, the hit-and-miss jokes, the Minions taking up 85% of the screen-time – then I’ll gladly bow my hat (I won’t eat it, ’cause that’s gross).
Despicable Me 3 is directed by the Minions duo of Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda (from a screenplay by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio). Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, and Dana Gaier reprise their roles as Gru, Lucy Wilde, Margo, and Edith. New to the franchise is South Park‘s Trey Parker, voicing Balthazar Bratt. Nev Scharrel will replace Elsie Fisher in the role of Agnes and Carell will also voice the role of Dru, Gru’s long-lost twin brother.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to Despicable Me 3?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes