Despicable Me 4 Movie Review: To start with good tidings, I enjoyed Despicable Me 4 better than Despicable Me 3. The minions are funnier here, continuing the tradition of being the most entertaining aspect of the franchise. Despicable Me 4, directed by Chris Renaud, will definitely appeal to kids and adults if your only wish from these movies is to see these yellow critters jabber in nonsensical English and engage in silly slapstick fun. However, if a good plot, strong antagonists, and well-formed characters also matter to you, then Despicable Me 4, like the previous instalment, will come off as a letdown. ‘Despicable Me 4’ Review: Illumination’s Latest Animated Comedy Draws Mixed Reactions From Critics Despite Its Fun Action and Promising New Characters.

After angering a former schoolmate turned supervillain, Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell), by getting him arrested, Gru (Steve Carell) has to go into hiding with his family, now also consisting of his baby son Gru Jr, when Maxine escapes from prison. Through the Witness Protection Act, Gru and his family are relocated to an idyllic neighbourhood with new identities.

Watch the Trailer of 'Despicable Me 4':

Lucy (Kristen Wiig) starts working as a hairstylist, resulting in a hilarious disaster. The three girls try to fit in at their new school and endeavour to find new friends. Meanwhile, Gru, who is trying to endear himself to his infant son, finds his cover blown when his new snooty next-door neighbour's teenage daughter, Poppy (Joey King), figures out who he is. Instead of exposing him, however, Poppy wants him to carry out a heist at his own alma mater.

Despicable Me 4 Movie Review - The Scene-Stealing Minions

In between all this, we have the minions doing their usual comic routine to entertain us. They are again split this time; Stuart, Kevin, and Bob go with Gru and his family to their new home. I wondered how their presence wouldn't have blown Gru's cover already. I mean, who else is the boss of these yellow specimens? But I am also glad that no one on the Despicable Me 4 team thought of this loophole since the trio makes whichever scenes they are in quite funny to watch.

A Still From Despicable Me 4

The rest of the minions are packed off with AVL (Anti-Villain League) and work with Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan), who turns five of them into 'superheroes' with varied powers. They then indulge in their own separate set of antics.

Despicable Me 4 Movie Review - Funny Moments Scattered In a Weak Script

Here's the problem with Despicable Me 4. The movie, more or less, feels like a series of funny sketches stitched together with an absolutely weak excuse for a plot. There are some genuinely comical moments, like Lucy and the girls being stalked at a supermarket by her former customer, with the Terminator theme playing in the background. Or the superhero minions rampaging into the city and creating a mess in their attempts to help the civilians. Not all 'skits' are funny enough; some just pass the threshold of being bearable, like Gru trying to play tennis with his neighbour.

A Still From Despicable Me 4

But when you pull yourself back and look at the bigger picture, you can see that Despicable Me 4 has put some interesting ideas here and there in the plot but doesn't really do much with them. Be it the girls, particularly Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), with their adjustment issues, or even the super minions track; these are subplots that are not fulfilled well or feel like a funny distraction added to pad the runtime. In the end, none of these characters, including Gru, doesn't really grow as characters, even when the fodder is placed for them to do so.

Despicable Me 4 Movie Review - Poppy and The Villains

A major portion of the film's runtime is invested in Gru dealing with Poppy and her heist. While this leads to them tackling an aggressive honey badger (in a scene that feels like a tamer version of Incredibles 2's raccoon scene), Poppy also doesn't really matter to the plot after the heist sequence. When you really think hard about it, the whole track again feels like Despicable Me 4 wanting to add something worthwhile to the narrative before making the hero face off against the villain. Minions the Rise of Gru Movie Review: Steve Carell’s ‘Despicable Me’ Prequel Is a Hilarious Outing With Underwhelming Villains.

A Still From Despicable Me 4

Speaking of whom, Maxime and his girlfriend Valentina (Sofia Vergara) are underused as antagonists. Again, there are good ideas, like Maxime turning himself into a super-powered bug villain and using a spray to turn others into his buggy sidekicks. Or that he has a whole team of controlled bugs that would rival Gru's minions. But they are not well used in the movie (the bugs don't even return after that one scene). It also doesn't help that his final face-off with Gru, also involving his baby, again feels like a scene borrowed from the first Incredibles movie and not really made better, though there is a cute moment of bonding between Gru and Gru Jr.

Despicable Me 4 Movie Review - Final Thoughts

Despicable Me 4 offers a mix of comedic moments and familiar antics from the beloved minions, which will surely entertain younger audiences and fans of the franchise. However, the film falls short of delivering a cohesive plot and fully developed characters, leaving much to be desired for those seeking a more substantial story. While it successfully maintains the fun and silliness that the Despicable Me franchise is known for, Despicable Me 4 ultimately feels like a series of sketches loosely strung together.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 04, 2024 02:12 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website