Despicable Me 4 Logo

Despicable Me 4: A Rollercoaster of Comedy and Craziness Despicable Me has always been one of those franchises that guarantee fun, laughter, and a ton of Minions-related chaos. As I sat down to watch the latest installment, "Despicable Me 4," I couldn't help but wonder: would it live up to its prequels, or would it fall into the tr...

Despicable Me 4

  • Felix Caldwell

Despicable Me 4: A Rollercoaster of Comedy and Craziness

Despicable Me has always been one of those franchises that guarantee fun, laughter, and a ton of Minions-related chaos. As I sat down to watch the latest installment, "Despicable Me 4," I couldn't help but wonder: would it live up to its prequels, or would it fall into the trap of sequels that just keep rehashing the same old jokes?

The Beloved History of a Franchise

The "Despicable Me" series started back in 2010 and instantly won over audiences with its heartwarming tale of a villain turned doting father. Over the years, Gru and his band of adorable Minions have become household names. Despite the passage of time and the evolution of animated cinema, the series has retained its essence, combining slapstick humor with touchy-feely moments.

The excitement surrounding the release of "Despicable Me 4" was palpable. It has been almost seven years since the last main series entry, and families, including mine, were eagerly waiting to see what new twists and turns were in store for Gru and his family. To my surprise, the film not only brought smiles but also an array of complex emotions and thoughts.

A Familiar Yet Fresh Introduction

The movie kicks off with a sense of familiarity: Gru (Steve Carell) is still the reformed villain we've come to love. His devotion to his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and adopted daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and the ever-adorable Agnes (now voiced by Madison Polan) hasn’t faded. Yet, there's an addition to the family that changes the dynamics — a new child named Gru Jr., a miniature version of Gru, albeit with more hair.

The introduction of Gru Jr. was a smart plot point that held the potential to explore new family dynamics. However, the film quickly makes it apparent that it's more interested in catering to its younger audience through chaotic antics and less in developing this new family member. Even the introductory scenes, though peppered with humorous moments, felt a bit rushed to cram in as much content as possible.

Too Much of a Good Thing?

The most standout issue with "Despicable Me 4" is its overstuffed storyline. It's as if the writers couldn't decide on a central plot and instead threw in every possible narrative thread they could think of. From Gru going into witness protection to Margo dealing with bullying at her new school to various side plots involving Lucy and the new villains, it felt like a buffet with too many dishes and not enough room to savor any single one.

Each subplot is interesting on its own, but the movie never gives any of them enough time to develop fully. It's a constant shift from one storyline to another, resulting in a film that feels disjointed. For instance, Margo's struggle with her peers could have been a compelling subplot, yet it is brushed aside too quickly for another gag-related scene.

The Repetitive Charm of the Minions

It's hard to talk about any "Despicable Me" film without mentioning the Minions. These yellow, gibberish-speaking creatures have become cultural icons in their own right. "Despicable Me 4" knows this and unapologetically leans into the Minions’ antics, this time making them undergo experiments that turn them into parodies of Marvel superheroes.

The superhero Minions idea is indeed silly but surprisingly effective. It brings a fresh angle to the usual Minion chaos, even if it steps into the territory of superhero cinema saturation. Their bumbling attempts at heroism are some of the funniest parts of the film, and these scenes provide the comic relief that fans have come to expect.

New Additions and Old Faces

Adding new characters is always a gamble, and in "Despicable Me 4," the new villains Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell) and his girlfriend Valentina (Sofía Vergara) fall somewhat flat. Ferrell's performance mainly relies on an exaggerated accent, which, while funny at times, becomes tiring. Vergara’s character, on the other hand, felt almost like a caricature, with lines that seemed too cliché.

These new villains don’t have the same charm or menace as previous antagonists in the series, making them less memorable. Even Gru’s internal conflict, a staple in past movies, seemed watered-down and overlooked in favor of superficial gags. There’s no real peril or tension, which could have elevated the film from mere entertainment to something more substantial.

Surprising Elements That Work

Despite its flaws, "Despicable Me 4" does have a few unexpected elements that work in its favor. The scenes where the Minions use their newfound powers to "help" out in the city are not only humorous but also showcase the creativity that the franchise is known for. These sequences are some of the best moments in the film, illustrating that even after all these years, the creators can still surprise us with clever concepts.

The family interactions, although not as deeply explored as they could be, still offer some genuine moments. Agnes' struggle with leaving her pet goat behind feels real and relatable. It's one of the few emotional threads that manage to touch the heart, even as the movie speeds through its various plots.

The Visual Spectacle

One cannot ignore the visual quality of "Despicable Me 4." The animation is as vibrant and colorful as ever. The attention to detail in the character designs, especially the Minions and their superhero transformations, is impressive. The settings — from Gru's old school to the family’s new home under witness protection — are beautifully rendered, contributing to the overall viewing pleasure.

It’s clear that Illumination spent a lot of time and effort on the animation, ensuring that it meets the high standards set by previous films. This level of detail makes even the most chaotic scenes enjoyable, as there's always something interesting happening in the background.

A Mixed Bag of Impressions

When I walked out of the theater, I had mixed feelings about "Despicable Me 4." On one hand, it delivered the laughs and maintained the charm that made the franchise popular. On the other hand, the overabundance of subplots left me wishing the film had been more focused. The new characters didn’t leave a lasting impression, and some jokes felt recycled.

However, it's undeniable that the film will still find its audience, especially among kids who adore the Minions and enjoy fast-paced, slapstick humor. It’s a safe bet for families looking to spend a fun evening together, even if it doesn’t reach the heights of the original.


In conclusion, "Despicable Me 4" is a mixed bag. It tries to do too much, cramming in numerous plotlines and characters, which results in a somewhat disjointed narrative. Yet, it still manages to deliver the comedy and charm that fans have come to expect. The Minions, ever the reliable source of humor, shine in their superhero turn, and the animation quality remains top-notch.

While it may not stand out as the best in the series, "Despicable Me 4" offers enough laughs and heartwarming moments to make it worth watching, especially for families and young fans of the franchise. If you're looking for a film that doesn't require much thought and delivers on the promise of fun, this one’s likely to fit the bill.