Despicable Me 3 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
I imagine the worst part about being involved with the making of a Despicable Me movie is trying to decide what to do with the minions. The minions are everyone’s favorite part of the movie, but as we learned in THE MINIONS, too much of a good thing is never a good thing. But we learned in DESPICABLE ME 2 that not having enough of them can make franchise a little boring. DESPICABLE ME 3 didn’t find that sweet spot and I’m not sure there is one. But too many or not enough Minions wasn’t the film’s biggest problem.
Gru (Carell) and Lucy (Wiig) are special agents tracking down Balthazar (Parker) when the evil mastermind manages to escape their grasp. Feeling the wrath of the new agency director, Gru and Lucy are fired from their positions for letting the evil genius slip through their hands. Around this time, Gru gets an invitation from Dru (Carell, again) who claims to be his twin brother. It turns out, Dru is actually his twin and he and Gru were separated at birth. Dru wants to be an evil mastermind like their father and enlists Gru’s help to get there. But Gru has put that life behind him and is now focused on defeating Balthazar and getting his old life back.
The best part about DESPICABLE ME 3 is the background story of Balthazar, who was once a child star on a cheesy sitcom and he never managed to outgrow his character. Throw in some dancing and a lot of 80’s music and you have a fun cartoon villain. Aside from a few shining Minions moments, Balthazar was the only source of humor and it wasn’t from anything he said, but rather what he did and how he did it. Unfortunately, he’s barely a piece of the larger puzzle and most of the film is spent trying to make Gru’s daughters relevant and the Minions cute. I love the Minions as much as the next guy, but having them go off and do their own thing removed them from the story and ended up being a mistake on the part of the writers.
I get that a grown man is not the target audience for this kind of film, but if the Despicable Me franchise wants to continue, they’re going to have to up their game in the story department and find a way to incorporate their moneymakers more seamlessly. With DESPICABLE ME 3, it feels like no one is trying and since the third film grossed over $100 million less domestically than the second, audiences might agree with me.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: I don’t think I’ve seen an animated movie on 4K that didn’t look great and DESPICABLE ME 3 is no exception. The only issue, if there is one, is that the differences between the 4K and the Blu-ray are minimal. The Blu-ray looks great as well and as with most animated films, there just isn’t that much to improve on. Any improvements come from the HDR, which adds some color depth to some of the darker scenes, such as in Balthazar’s hideout. Overall, this is a great looking transfer, it’s just not that much different from the Blu-ray.
Audio: The same DTS-X audio track from the Blu-ray is included on the 4K and it sounds fantastic.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
Mini-Movie: The Secret Life of Kyle (4:13): Gru’s dog-like pet gets his own mini-movie.
Minion Moments (1:18): Two very mini-movies featuring the Minions play out more like deleted scenes.
Deleted Scene (:40): Edith’s voice actress (Dana Gaier) introduces a deleted Edith scene.
Featurettes: Featurettes for kids’ movies are usually brief and uninformative and these are no different. There are two featurettes that fall in the “making-of” category, giving viewers a very broad overview of the making of the film and the development of Dru. Then there are five character profiles where the voice actors show up to talk about their actors. The only noticeable absence is Trey Parker.
The AVL Files and Freedonia Visitor’s Guide: Two interactive features that let you learn more about the characters or places by clicking on them.
Posters, Sing Along and Music Video