Film: "Despicable Me 3"; Directors: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda, Eric Guillon; Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Steve Coogan, Jenny Slate, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel, Julie Andrews, Pierre Coffin; Rating: ***1/2
Very rarely do follow-ups create the same impact as their prequels, but in the case of "Despicable Me 3", the intensity of the film surpasses its predecessors. It excels as a scaled-up action thriller packed with a 1980s style of story that includes affirmation of good old-fashioned family values.
And, repeating its formula of "Gang busting," the narrative begins with a disgruntled former child star turned villain called Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) stealing the biggest diamond from under Gru's nose. The Anti-Villain League's new boss (Jenny Slate) fires Gru for not being competent enough. Lucy, his soul-mate tries to protest but in the bargain, the duo are kicked out of the League.
Meanwhile the Minions, too rebel against Gru and are out on their own.
But then Gru itches to get into the villainy racket and the plot working as deux-de-machina introduces him to his long lost twin brother, Dru.
So keeping in line with the continuation of its earlier two editions of family values, Gru along with Lucy and his three adopted daughters go to visit Dru. How they, along with the Minions all bust Balthazar, forms the crux of the tale. Thus making "Despicable Me 3" an emotionally packed, extended family jamboree.
While the story is simple and focussed, the antics of the Minions are enough to keep kids and adults involved and their several gibberish outbursts divert the story path several times to give room to humour. Packed with devious action plans, what keeps you hooked to the screen is the emotional bonding between the brothers and Gru's daughters with Lucy.
The plot also consists of Looney tunes-esque sight gags and pop-culture references with an emphasis on the era and catchy Pharrell Willians songs on the sound track.
The voice projected by the stars effortlessly slip into the characters' vocal chords. The constantly fussy and cribbing tone of Gru, lent by Steve Carell has the sharpness of a once dangerous villain who has now mellowed over time. Kristen Wiig projects a matronly tone that is stern yet caring.
Trey Parker as Balthazar Bratt is extremely entertaining as he switches from smooth-talking to an effortlessly intimidating baddie with ease.
Overall, "Despicable Me 3" is a moderately fast paced animated-action film that would appeal to all.