How many great trilogies are there? Lord of the Rings, Toy Story…Star Wars? Maybe? The point is most film franchises stumble by the third installment. Per the early reviews, Despicable Me 3 seems to be a rare exception. Critics are more or less agreeing that most recent chapter in the story of the former supervillain Gru and his gang of manic, gibberish-spouting Minions is a fine way to spend a few air-conditioned hours.
While many critics remarked that the Minions were exhausting and annoying in previous films, critics are finally coming around to the goggle-wearing balls of energy. Wrote Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson of the movie: “It does its job, is smart about how to use those Minions and kept big smiles on my kids’ faces from beginning to end.” Alex Welch of IGN called the Minions a highlight of the movie, stating, “it’s through [the villain] Balthazar and a number of side-sequences involving the Minions that Despicable Me 3 maintains the witty and hilarious sense of humor that made the first two films such big hits.” The Seattle Times‘ Soren Anderson said bluntly, “It’s the Minions to the rescue in Despicable Me 3.”
Reviews are also saying the film does a noble job of juggling a greater set of characters. Sandy Schaefer of ScreenRant said the movie “offers enough in the way of zany, irreverent entertainment (with a dose of heart) to please steadfast fans of the franchise.” Most also agreed that the film tactfully handles each plot and gives enough attention to what matters. As Neil Pond of Parade put it: “The three directors juggle all the jokery with craft, cleverness and a finger on the pulse of spry spy satire, and the movie even spoofs itself.” Geoffrey Macnab of Independent praised Despicable Me 3 as “gleefully anarchic fun, a film that startles us again and again with its offbeat and surrealistic humour.”
Despicable Me is an extremely lucrative property, with the original grossing $543.1 million, the sequel grossing $970.8 million, and the spinoff (Minions) taking in a massive $1.159 billion, all domestically. According to Variety, Despicable Me 3 is projected to hit $90-100 million domestically this weekend. It’s a good thing that critics are finally on board with the Minions because, if projections are true, a fifth installment will materialize.