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Despicable Me 4
     review by Bobby Blakey

Back in 2010 the world was introduced to a new kind of supervillain in Despicable Me. Like a lot of animated features, it spawned a franchise, but this time not only did it get 2 sequels it also featured a spin-off shifting the focus to the popular Minions characters. Now Gru is back for Despicable Me 4 featuring all the returning cast and some new additions including Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Pierre Coffin, Joey King, Sofia Vergara, Stephen Colbert, Miranda Cosgrove, Chloe Fineman, Steve Coogan, Chris Renaud, Dana Gaier, and Madison Polan. Could this latest entry bring more villainy that fans love, or will it be to despicable to witness?

 

Despicable Me 4 follows a new chapter as Gru, Lucy and their girls —Margo, Edith and Agnes welcome a new member to the Gru family, Gru Jr., who is intent on tormenting his dad. As if that wasn’t enough, Gru faces a new nemesis in Maxime Le Mal and his femme fatale girlfriend Valentina, forcing the family to go on the run.

 

This is one of those franchises that has stayed consistently strong with each entry. Sure there are some that are better than others, but I have thoroughly enjoyed every outing. I know for some the Minion characters themselves can get to be too much, but I can’t help but find them entertaining every time. Unsurprisingly this latest entry is yet another fun one that brings new growth to the characters and of course all the Minion chaos fans want.

The story here is simple and keeps within the usual format with it further delving into Gru’s life and adventure with a new addition of a son added to the mix. This subplot alone works to take the characters into new directions, but you know we always must have a crazy fun villain ad we get that in Will Ferrell’s Maxime. The now iconic voice stylings of Gru by Carrell is perfectly matched with the silly French style of Ferrell making for some fun interactions when they are both on screen.

The rest of the cast are all great with them, finding new things for the kids to deal with that isn’t just the adventure part, but in life. This franchise has been as much their story as Gru’s and I love seeing them making sure to evolve everyone together. They have some great call backs to every film in the franchise giving me similar vibes of Kung Fu Panda 4 as if to be wrapping it up for good. I would always love to see more Gru, but if this is it there is a great finale for it.

The smarter element that they do here is also make this a separate Minion adventure that eventually crosses into the rest of the story. This not only allows them to get into all the usual shenanigans, but also lets them do something different including introducing a new super team that could be the focal point for another Minion film entry. They bring the usual laughs and the clever use of their behavior and unique language shines as it always does.

The film brings all the usual bright vibrant and gorgeous animation complete with silly gadgets and overall goofiness as we have come to expect. I will say as much as I enjoyed it, it is probably the weaker film in the franchise, but still a ton of fun to watch. There is nothing wrong with it, but I think the more focus on the family tries to take it back to the tone of the original and gets lost some as it tries to shove everything in. It still works and no doubt entertains and as mentioned before serves up as the perfect ending to the franchise should it be the final outing.

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