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DESPICABLE ME 4

I Universal Pictures Canada I July 3, 2024 I 95 mins. I

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TBA%

* As of 6/28/24

Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Sofia Vergara, Joey King, Stephen Colbert,

Chloe Fineman, Pierre Coffin, Steve Coogan, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Madison Polan

Directed By: Chris Renaud

Gru (voice of Steve Carell) and Lucy (voice of Kristen Wiig) and their girls —Margo, Edith and Agnes—welcome a new member to the Gru family, Gru Jr., who is intent on tormenting his dad.

Gru faces a new nemesis in Maxime Le Mal (voice of Will Ferrell) and his femme fatale girlfriend Valentina (voice of Sofia Vergara), and the family is forced to go on the run.

REVIEW BY: Darren Zakus - 6/29/24

RATING 3.5 out of 5

Despicable Me 4 delivers more Minion mayhem and excitement in the sixth installment of Illumination Animation’s flagship series, that thanks to a strong voice cast and Mike White joining the series as a co-writer who has lots of great adult targeted jokes, ensures an exciting and laugh filled trip to the movies for the entire family.

 

No matter what they do, and I mean literally anything is on the table including starting a world war while screaming bananas, the Minions always guarantee a hilarious time at the movies. Six films into the Despicable Me franchise, fans know exactly what to expect from Gru, the girls and the lovable yet destructive little yellow guys, and it’s safe to say that if you were a fan of the previous films that you are going to have fun with Despicable Me 4. There is nothing new that the latest entry brings to the table, but with Mike White co-writing the film alongside Ken Daurio who has been involved with the franchise since the first film, there is a rejuvenation of ideas that promises tons of laughter and excitement for audiences of all ages to enjoy.

 

The Despicable Me series has always been about family, and these heartfelt themes continue in the fourth film in the main series as Gru and his family find themselves in witness protection after a new nemesis discovers where they live. In a new setting and with a new baby, Gru Jr., as part of the family, there are new ideas for the story to play with. Gru is trying to fit into a new town with a new identity, trying to impress his new wealthy neighbours, whose daughter blackmails Gru into helping her pull off a heist after she discovers his identity; Lucy struggles with her new job as a hairdresser, while the majority of the Minions are seconded to the Anti-Villain League where five of them are given experimental super powers. What ensues is lots of hilarious hijinks over the course of a quickly paced ninety-five minute run time including a ferocious honey badger, a great montage with the mega-Minions causing mass destruction while attempting to save people in danger that riff on iconic superhero film scenes (that Spider-Man 2 homage is just brilliant), and fun grocery store chase sequence where Lucy’s disgruntled customer has a Terminator-esque vengeance. With White, the creator of the hit HBO series The White Lotus, joining the film as a writer, there are lots of smart and witty jokes that will no doubt have adults chuckling beyond the easy slapstick comedy of the Minions that everyone comes to these films for, creating a fun time for the entire family this summer. Between this film and last year’s Migration, Illumination needs to keep getting White as a writer on their films as he has helped them deliver two good films in a row now.

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Steve Carrell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, and Dana Gaier all return for the latest film in the series, and all of them once again bring energetic and wonderful performances as the series’ main characters. Will Ferrell and Sofía Vergara are strong additions to the cast as the film’s two main villains, Maxime Le Mal and Valentina. They both bring a dastardly comedic energy to the film, Ferrell with his over the top French accent and Vergara with her signature dry sense of humour, that matches the tone of the series perfectly and makes for lots of fun moments. Stephen Colbert is good as Gru’s neighbour Perry who is terrified of being associated with Gru, but it is Joey King who steals the film as Perry’s daughter Poppy. King captures a youthful earning with a wicked flavour as an inspiring villain, full of teenage angst and excitement that makes for the best new character of the franchise, who hopefully will stick around as she is a great addition to this world of characters. It’s a strong ensemble with each member of the cast capturing the entertaining nature of the series with ease, that combined with impressive animation in Illumination usual style, ensures that this is one crowd pleasing film from start to finish.


Never for a second short on laughter, Despicable Me 4 knows exactly what fans want from this film and delivers it in spades. With Mike White bringing his wicked and biting sense of humour to Gru and the Minions, the sixth installment in the ever popular franchise feels fresh and proves that there are still tons of laughter to be found in this world. Armed with a talented voice cast with the welcomed additions of Will Ferrell, Sofía Vergara and Joey King, Despicable Me 4 will have you laughing at the Minions’ usual antics and Mike White’s great sense of humour, proving that the beloved franchise is not losing steam at all.

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