Predictable me?

Source:AFP Published: 2017/6/25 16:48:40

Promotional material for Despicable Me 3 Photo: IC

Promotional material for Despicable Me 3 Photo: IC

Reformed super-villain Gru adds to his burgeoning family on June 30 with the release of Despicable Me 3, which will likely push the gargantuan franchise past $3 billion at the box office.

But critics have warned that the seemingly unstoppable cash cow risks becoming "Predictable Me" unless its creators ring the changes for future outings - including thinking the unthinkable and dropping the loveable Minions.

Universal's animation arm Illumination, which made Despicable Me, its sequel and the spin-off Minions, continues the adventures of Gru, Lucy and their adorable adopted daughters with the latest installment.

The franchise has already taken $2.7 billion at box offices worldwide, and spawned a lucrative merchandising cottage industry taking in clothing, toys and theme park rides.

Early reviews for Despicable Me 3 have been largely positive but at least two high-profile critics are arguing for a smaller role or no part at all for Gru's sidekicks, the Minions - small, yellow blobs that exist only to serve history's most despicable masters.

"As happened with Shrek and various other cartoon franchises before it, Gru's ensemble is starting to feel a bit bloated," wrote Peter Debruge, Variety magazine's influential chief film critic.

"And before moving forward, the studio might want to shed a few characters, starting - blasphemy of blasphemies! - with the Minions, who now officially have Nothing To Do."

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda - who collaborated on Minions (2015) - Despicable Me 3 had its star-studded premiere in Los Angeles on Saturday.

The movie picks up Gru's story as he is enjoying life with his three adopted daughters and new wife Lucy, played by Kristen Wiig, 43.

After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis.

Steve Carell not only reprises his role as Gru, but also takes on a second part - that of the character's long-lost twin brother Dru.

"Gru is very happy and content because he's found the love of his life, and the kids are great," 54-year-old Carell said at a recent press day for the movie in Los Angeles.

"This long-lost brother shows up on the scene and causes some acrimony... between the two, because Dru, his brother, is enticing him to get back into a life of crime, and then I don't think Lucy is very happy about that idea."

Wiig described working on the Despicable Me films as a career highlight.

"It's just a good time and it's a silly movie, but it's also really heartfelt and has important things to say," she said.

"I'm so proud to be a part of it - I love it."

Posted in: FILM

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