2017 Certificate: pg

Synopsis

Reformed baddie Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is back and up to as much good as possible in his third madcap, minion-assisted misadventure. Now a key agent for the Anti-Villain League, Gru is out to stop a ludicrous new enemy: 80s throwback Balthazar Bratt (South Park's Trey Parker), a former child star with terrible style and a grudge against Hollywood. But Gru's mission takes a crazy detour when he learns he has a twin brother, Dru (also voiced by Carell), back home in Freedonia. Accompanied by his new wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig), three adorable daughters, and enough minions to rock a jailhouse, it could be the reunion to end them all. Hold on to your sides for another eye-zapping barrage of action, invention and spectacular silliness.

Directors

  • Kyle Balda

  • Pierre Coffin

Cast

  • Steve Carell

  • Kristen Wiig

  • Trey Parker

  • Steve Coogan

  • Miranda Cosgrove

  • Jenny Slate

Review

Although less a standalone story than a series of wacky subplots strung together like so much party bunting, the third outing for Steve Carell's erstwhile megalomaniac Gru continues his rehabilitation apace. A great pace.

Actually, the rehabilitation is pretty much complete now that he's a doting father to his three adopted cuties, a dedicated member of the Anti-Villain League, and a proud new husband to fellow agent Lucy (Wiig).

Which is where the goose chase starts as we join the newlyweds racing to stop 80s TV reject-turned-supercrook Bratt (Parker) from pulling off a diamond robbery at sea. Alas, the mission gets all gummed up and Gru is fired.

But his sense of purpose is renewed when his dear old mum (Julie Andrews) lets slip that he has a long-lost twin back in his homeland. With Lucy and the kids in tow, Gru thus jets off to meet Dru, a happier, huggier, hairier version of himself.

Having made his fortune in pigs, Dru is looking for more excitement in his life. Maybe as a villain. But while the brothers have fun getting to know each other, Lucy is finding it a little trickier to bond with eldest daughter Margo.

Meanwhile, little Agnes is on a hunt for unicorns. And after walking out on Gru (who wants to work for a good guy?), the minions are at a loose end. Which can only lead to chaos. Or prison. Or both.

And while all that's going on, the evil Bratt is plotting to destroy Hollywood with, amongst other things, breakdancing dolls and self-inflating bubblegum.

Delivering a sugar rush of gadgets, giddiness and gibberish, Despicable 3 is literally all over the place. But somehow the three co-directors manage to pull the threads together to make daft sense of it all.

Peppered with nostalgic throws to 80s for the grown-ups and an inexhaustible supply of sight gags and witty asides for all ages, you might want to see it again. Just take a couple of paracetamol first.

Elliott Noble