Despicable Me 4 Review: Too many plotlines but plenty of laughs

Despicable Me 4

by Laura Riddell |
Published on
Despicable Me 4

As big fans of Despicable Me, we've been eagerly awaiting this latest movie in the franchise.

Reformed supervillain Gru, Lucy, Margo, Edith and Agnes have welcomed a new member to the family, Gru Jr, and there seems to be some bonding issues weighing on Gru's heart, as Gru Jr is intent on tormenting his dad.

Gru (Steve Carell) has settled into life working with the Anti-Villain League when he confronts his nemesis Maxime le Mal (Will Ferrell). Maxime has invented a machine to convert humans into cockroaches, and when he escapes a high security prison, he threatens revenge on Gru. Gru and his family are forced to go into hiding - moving home and adopting new identities.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Villain League turn a group of Minions into 'superheroes' called the Mega Minions. There are plenty of laughs as they riff on other superhero franchises, while proving themselves to be the most useless bunch of 'superheroes' ever created.

But the Mega Minions is one of the many plotlines that don't really come together. The Mega Minions play a token role in the movie's climax but overall, their transformation into 'superheroes' doesn't really go anywhere.

Now on to the villain, Maxime le Mal - for us, he was the weakest in the Despicable Me franchise, and not a patch on our favourites Balthazar Bratt, Vector or El Macho. That's not to say there wasn't potential there - the backstory of the rivalry between Gru and Maxime le Mal that developed during their time in a creepy isolated school that was a kind of Hogwarts for supervillains in the making, felt intriguing.

But with so many plotlines in the movie, there wasn't much time to explore certain avenues that felt exciting. Also it would have been nice to see the relationship between Gru and his baby fleshed out more, and it was disappointing to see characters we know and love take a backseat to a new character in the form of a neighbour child who has her own ambitions of becoming a villain. Overall, it felt like there was too much going on in the narrative.

Pharrell returns to write songs for this instalment, but they lacked the catchiness of his previous work. We all agreed Despicable Me 4 was sadly the weakest in the franchise. But Illumination Entertainment has still delivered a fun and fast-paced family watch, that's certainly not one to miss. My sons Odhran, 8, and Reuben, 6, said it wasn't their favourite but it was still brilliant. So I guess the proof will be in how many times they ask to rewatch it...Despicable Me 4 is in cinemas from 12 July.

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