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Review: Despicable Me 4. Another product that should’ve never existed

  • Release year: 2024
  • Directors: Chris Renaud and Patrick Delage.
  • Producers: Brett Hoffman and Christopher Meledandri.
  • Screenplay by: Mike White and Ken Daurio.
  • Music by: Heitor Pereira.

Synopsis: Gru has a spat with his school arch-enemy and he has to go into witness protection with his family when the latter escapes jail.

Shotgun Commentary: more of the same, boring as hell, and 100% not suited for anyone with a bug phobia.

Valentina (Sofía Vergara). Source: Despicable Me 4
(Chris Renaud and Patrick Delage, 2024).

Review

Despicable Me 4 follows Gru (Steve Carell) and his minions in yet another adventure that no one needed. This new marketing venture designed to keep the minion merch relevant is unoriginal, uninspired, and frankly a huge creative fail.

If anything, this feature is a wakeup call about the dangers of normalising the drainage of good ideas until there is nothing left. Despicable Me (2010) was fine, but six movies later, there are no more ideas, no more characters or jokes to make. The result is this tedious monstrosity that tries to hold your attention with in-law level humour for an hour and half, buy only manages to make 10 minutes feel like 2 hours.

First and foremost: cockroaches, really? Who’s trying to make cockroaches happen? No amount of Pitbull songs, little cute soldier hats, or enormous eyes is going to cover up the fact that roaches are disgusting. There is this trend, for which Disney is the main guilty party, of grabbing anything, putting huge eyes on it, and boom! Your next plushie bestseller. There seem to be no limit for what big eyes can make cute, Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) proved it. However, Despicable Me 4 has found the line: roaches.

The idea of the century

Who was the genius that thought cockroaches are a good move? And who approved the idea? Were they sober? Was it their first day on the job?

Edith (Dana Gaier) and minion (Pierre Coffin). Source: Despicable Me 4
(Chris Renaud and Patrick Delage, 2024).

You might be able to convince children that they are adorable because, let’s be honest, they are very easily malleable. Nevertheless, did no one consider that children go to cinema accompanied by their parents? A lot of mums and dads will NOT be happy when they pay to go to the cinema with their kids and have to sit through an hour and a half of humanoid roaches. Been there, done that, it was called Men in Black (1997). It was AWESOME and totally worth it. This, however, is not.

Collage, no one will notice…

Roaches aside, the film brings literally nothing new to the table. There is a Men in Black villain, The Family (2013) storyline of a villain trying to get used to a life in witness protection, Captain America’s serum turns five minions into The Fantastic Four-ish, and the mean evil machine is a cockroach version of Dr. Octopus in Stark tech (Spider-Man: No Way Home, 2021).

And let’s not forget the newest development of the Gru saga, baby Gru, Gru Jr. Essentially a cheap version of Jack-Jack Parr (Incredibles, 2004), only a bit chubbier and a lot less helpful. In conclusion, nothing that makes it worth the watch.

Just great for kids…

The one big hope for the story was Valentina (Sofía Vergara), the villain’s wife. She’s treated like a servant throughout the whole film, and you are praying that she will actually be incredibly clever and the real brains of the operation, especially after mentioning that she was the best of her school. No such luck.

Maxime le Mal (Will Ferrel) and Valentina (Sofía Vergara). Source: Despicable Me 4 (Chris Renaud and Patrick Delage, 2024).

She is exactly what she looks like: a trophy wife. All the female characters are super educational for children if one wants to teach them that all women are completely useless or dumb and dependent on a man. And now that we are on the subject, are there any relevant female characters in this franchise who are not crazy skinny or children? Yeah, didn’t think so.

In addition to the great example set for children in terms of feminism, there are a couple of errors that have no justification whatsoever. First, why is a tracker in one house when the animal is in another. You literally just have to flip the order of two scenes to make it make sense, it’s not that hard. Second, why would a guy that can fly fall? Sure, kids don’t look too much into things normally, but that is not an excuse to take advantage of them and feed them rubbish.

All in all, Despicable Me 4 is the perfect example of a movie that can easily be skipped in order to do something more fulfilling and educational, like staring at a wall, or watching paint dry, or both if you wanna go crazy. Hopefully, the cast was paid handsomely, otherwise their presence in this is absolutely inexplicable.

Advice to take from this movie:

  • If your big life aspiration is being a cockroach, you need therapy.
  • If your partner treats you like a driver/maid/cheerleader, they need a dog and a driving licence, and you need to get your sh*t together and leave them.
  • Just because something is popular doesn’t mean you have to repeat it over and over to infinity. Respect the audiences, even if they don’t respect themselves.
Poppy (Joey King). Source: Despicable Me 4 (Chris Renaud and Patrick Delage, 2024).

What’s your take? Have you watched Despicable Me 4? What did you think of the ending? Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, or leave a message in my contact page! For more reviews and cinema-related articles, check out the rest of my blog! 😀

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