‘Despicable Me 4’ Provides Much Needed Fun at the Movie Theater – Review

Despicable Me 4 splashed into theaters last week and shows there’s plenty left to tell in the story of Gru and the Minions.

I’ve come relatively late to the world of Despicable Me, with my first experience being Minions: The Rise of Gru in 2022. This was my first time watching a mainline Despicable Me film and I was a little worried that I’d be lost considering I was starting with the fourth entry in the series.

I really shouldn’t have worried. Despicable Me 4 isn’t the kind of film that depends on knowledge of the previous entries to follow along. The movie starts with Gru happily living his life with his family and the Minions, only to be forced into hiding when a villain he helped arrest escapes after vowing to take Gru’s family away from him. From there the film splits between Gru and the family struggling to follow their cover stories for various reasons, while the Minions wreak all kinds of havoc at headquarters in their own storyline.

This story is so unbelievably cute. Seeing Gru and his family thrust out of their element is comedy gold, with secondhand embarrassment kept surprisingly to a minimum. If I have one major gripe about the story it’s that the film’s “big villain” feels almost like an afterthought until literally the very last part of the film. Which isn’t to say that the rest of the film wasn’t interesting, but it’s hard to take a villain seriously if they don’t become a real and present problem for most of the film.

Another issue that may have only bothered me because of my attention to story details is the side story involving the Minions. I know full well that the Minions are meant to be very silly creatures who do very silly things, so my gripe isn’t with that part of the story. No, the issue I have is that the side story with the Mighty Minions feels almost too removed from the story of Gru and the family. I’m not sure how the writers could have fixed this, but it felt slightly jarring to be taken completely out of Gru’s story and sent into another. I think it might have worked better had the story just stuck with the few Minions that followed the family and left the rest out of the story.

All that being said, the heist that the film eventually centers around is extremely funny. Everything about that honey badger scene that was in all the previews is as funny as you think it is. Comedic moments like that is where Despicable Me 4 really shines and if they can keep coming up with moments like that this franchise won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

In conclusion, I was pleased to discover that while there were some story issues, Despicable Me 4 is a delightful way to spend an hour and a half at the movie theater, especially given the vast number of duds that have been hitting the box office as of late. The story doesn’t show any signs of slowing down and I’m excited to see what comes next for Gru and company.

Despicable Me 4
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Becky O'Brien
Armed with a PhD. in Musicology, Becky loves to spend their time watching movies and playing video games, and listening to the soundtracks of both whenever they have the time. Can usually be seen writing for Cinelinx though they also do a bit of work for Screen Age Wasteland too. Their favorite superheroes are Batwoman and Spider-Gwen.
despicable-me-4-provides-much-needed-fun-at-the-movie-theater-reviewWhile the story has some kinks in it, Despicable Me 4 is all around an enjoyable good time that movie lovers of all ages will enjoy. Gru and company are funnier than ever and the Minions have some not to be missed antics as usual.