Despicable Me 4

Despicable Me 4
Original title:Despicable Me 4
Director: Chris Renaud
Running time:94 minutes
Release date:03 july 2024
For the first time in seven years, Gru, the world's most popular super villain turned super agent of the Lynx Vigilance Agency, returns in a new chapter as hilarious as it is chaotic in the celebrated saga of enlightenment: Despicable Me 4. Gru, Lucy and the girls, Margo, Edith and Agnes, welcome the latest addition to the family, Gru Junior, who seems to have only one passion: to drive his father crazy. But Gru is confronted by a new enemy, Maxime Le Mal, who, with the help of his girlfriend, the fatal Valentina, is going to force the whole family to flee.

Sabine's Review

Gru, the world's most popular supervillain, returns to the screens, surrounded by his family and the Minions. With this fourth opus, the franchise is renewed and surprises us again and again, thanks to visual and storyline inventiveness, gags, twists and turns and emotion. Review guaranteed without spoilers.

Never change a winning team. Originally, two French cartoonists, Pierre Coffin and Eric Guillon, created this franchise at Illumination with its very particular absurd humor. Pierre Coffin still does the voices of the minions, with their semi-intelligible language. The screenplay is written by Mike White and Ken Daurio, the author of the franchise since the very first Despicable Me. Chris Renaud (Oscar nominee for Despicable Me 2, The Secret Life of Pets), co-directs with Patrick Delage (director of animation on Sing 2 and The Secret life of Pets 2), Frenchman trained at the famous school of Gobelins and passed by Pixar (Ratatouilles).

We find Gru, Lucy and their three daughters: teenage Margo, rebellious Edith and Agnes, the youngest. The novelty comes from the arrival of the youngest, Gru Junior, who does not seem to like his father. The film thus explores the father-son relationship. Having become a secret agent of the Lynx Vigilance Agency, Gru is forced to flee with his family to an ultra-secure residence, because the formidable Maxime Le Mal, a cockroach hybrid, and his girlfriend Valentina want to destroy them. The family meets Poppy, their neighbors' daughter, an astonishing and surprising personality. The film aptly addresses the themes of uprooting and integration. 

The Minions are as endearing and wacky as ever. Pierre Coffin and Eric Guillon have created five mega minions, Illumination-style superheroes, a nice snub to Marvel and DC Comics films. The original music is once again by Grammy Award-winning Heitor Pereira (for the Despicable Me and Minions franchises). Original songs and themes are composed by Pharrell Williams. Double Life promises to be a hit. 

This fourth opus is a success. Yakitori los bananas! (Go to see it, friends!)

Despicable Me 4
Voices : Pierre Coffin (Les Minions), Steve Carell (Gru), Kristen Wiig, Joey King, Miranda Cosgrove, Sofía Vergara, Steve Coogan, Chris Renaud, Madison Polan, Dana Gaier, Chloe Fineman, Stephen Colbert, Will Ferrell
Scriptwriters : Mike White, Ken Daurio 
Director : Chris Renaud 
Co-Director: Patrick Delage 
Producers: Chris Meledandri, Brett Hoffman
Distribution  : Universal Pictures 
Durée : 94 minutes

Seen June, 12 2024 at cinéma Publicis, Paris in french version

Sabine's Mark:

Mulder's Review

Despicable Me 4 doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, but sticks to the formula that made the franchise so popular. The film is filled with the kind of light, silly humor that has become synonymous with the series, making it a hit with kids and adults alike. Although the plot is somewhat scattered, with multiple subplots that don't always mesh seamlessly, the film's charm lies in its ability to make audiences laugh at its sheer silliness.
Gru, the former villain turned heroic father, continues to navigate his life with his Minions and growing family. His comic attempts at education and adaptation to suburban life provide plenty of laughs. Steve Carell's voice as Gru is as entertaining as ever, capturing the character's mix of seriousness and absurdity. The arrival of a new baby, Gru Jr, adds a new dynamic to the family, and Gru's struggles to bond with his son are both heartwarming and funny.

The introduction of a new villain, Maxime Le Mal, played by Will Ferrell, adds a new layer of humor to the film. Maxime's vendetta against Gru stems from a high-school rivalry, resulting in exaggerated, over-the-top confrontations. Will Ferrell's portrayal of Maxime as a cockroach-obsessed villain with a thick French accent is hilariously absurd, resulting in some of the film's funniest scenes. His transformation into a human-cockroach hybrid is both grotesque and amusing, adding to the film's zany appeal.

Director Chris Renaud, who returns to the series after helming the first two films, ensures that the film maintains a steady pace and dynamic visual style. The suburbs of Mayflower provide a new backdrop for Gru's adventures, with a satirical take on suburban life and its inhabitants. The humor, while sometimes relying on recycled gags from previous films, often hits the mark, particularly when it tackles modern clichés of wardrobe, grooming and plastic surgery.

The Minions, as always, steal the show with their antics and gibberish-filled dialogue. This time, some of them are transformed into Mega Minions with superhero abilities (a nod to the Fantastic Four and Superman), adding a fresh touch to their usual chaos. These sequences, although they seem somewhat integrated into the plot, are among the film's most entertaining scenes. The voice of Pierre Coffin, who plays the Minions, continues to be a strong point, bringing a unique and hilarious energy to the film.

The film's script, written by Ken Daurio and Mike White, relies heavily on gags and comic scenes rather than a coherent narrative. While this approach can make the plot feel disjointed, it also keeps the laughs flowing. The subplot involving Gru's teenage neighbor Poppy Prescott, and her aspirations for trickery, adds another layer of humor and serves as a vehicle for some of the film's most inventive gags. There are also nods to James Cameron's cult film Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).

Despite the film's chaotic structure, certain moments offer genuine character development and emotional depth. The relationship between Gru and his new son, Gru Jr, is a central theme, with the baby's initial hostility to his father offering moments both comic and poignant. The film explores Gru's efforts to get closer to his son, adding a touch of sentimentality to an otherwise slapstick tale. Despicable Me 4 also tackles themes of change and adaptation, as the Gru family struggles to adjust to their new lives in witness protection. These moments, while often laugh-out-loud funny, also highlight the challenges and absurdities of integrating into a new environment. The film's satirical take on suburban life and its inhabitants adds a layer of social commentary that parents might appreciate.

The animation in Despicable Me 4 is particularly polished, with vibrant colors and detailed character designs that bring to life the eccentric world of Gru and the Minions. The film's visual style is consistently appealing, and the action sequences are well executed, offering plenty of visual gags and slapstick humor. The attention to detail in the animation, particularly in scenes involving the Minions and their antics, adds to the film's overall appeal.

Although Despicable Me 4 doesn't offer much in terms of story depth or character development, it succeeds in being a fun experience and making people laugh out loud. The film's strength lies in its ability to embrace its own silliness and provide a steady stream of comic moments. For fans of the series and newcomers alike, this latest installment is a delightful, if somewhat chaotic, addition to the Despicable Me franchise. It's a film that doesn't take itself too seriously and invites audiences to do the same, making it perfect entertainment for viewers of all ages.

The voice acting in Despicable Me 4 deserves special mention, as it contributes greatly to the film's overall charm. Steve Carell's performance as Gru is as endearing and hilarious as ever. He effortlessly captures Gru's eccentric blend of toughness and tenderness, particularly in scenes where he tries to bond with Gru Jr. Kristen Wiig also shines as Lucy, bringing a vibrant, energetic presence to her character. Will Ferrell, as the new antagonist Maxime Le Mal, delivers a delightfully over-the-top performance that adds a new comic dynamic to the film.

The film's music, composed by Heitor Pereira, perfectly complements the action and humor. Pharrell Williams' new original song, Double Life, fits in perfectly with the film's energetic atmosphere. In addition, the use of various pop songs throughout the film, including a rousing rendition of Tears for Fears' Everybody Wants to Rule the World, adds to the fun and keeps the audience interested.

Despite some narrative shortcomings, Despicable Me 4 succeeds in delivering what fans of the series have come to expect: a fun, entertaining and visually captivating experience. The film's ability to balance slapstick humor with moments of genuine warmth and emotion is one of its greatest strengths. Although it doesn't reach the same heights as the original film, it still offers a delightful escape and plenty of laughs.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the film is its ability to blend humor and heart. The interactions between Gru and his family, especially Gru Jr, bring a sense of warmth and realism to the story. The challenges of parenthood, the desire to fit in and the importance of family are themes that resonate with viewers of all ages. These moments of emotional depth provide a pleasant counterbalance to the film's more absurd and chaotic elements. The film's visual humor is another strong point. Illumination Studios' animators have outdone themselves with detailed, expressive character animations. The slapstick comedy, physical gags and visual jokes are executed with precision and creativity, making even the simplest scenes very funny. The use of bright colors and imaginative sets further enhances the visual appeal, creating a visually stunning and appealing world for Gru and his gang.

Despicable Me 4 also excels in its pacing, ensuring that there's never a dull moment. The film moves swiftly from one comic scene to the next, keeping the audience entertained throughout. The fast-paced humor and constant action make this an appealing and enjoyable film to watch, especially for younger viewers with short attention spans. Despicable Me 4 is a worthy addition to the beloved franchise. It stays true to the series' roots, offering a mix of silly humor, heartfelt moments and visually appealing animation. While it doesn't break new ground or offer a particularly deep narrative, it manages to deliver a fun and entertaining experience for viewers of all ages. Fans of Gru, the Minions and their zany adventures will not be disappointed. This film is a testament to the enduring appeal of the Despicable Me series, and its ability to bring joy and laughter to audiences the world over.

Despicable Me 4
Directed by Chris Renaud
Written by Mike White, Ken Daurio
Produced by Chris Meledandri, Brett Hoffman
Starring Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Pierre Coffin, Joey King, Miranda Cosgrove, Sofía Vergara, Steve Coogan, Chris Renaud, Madison Polan, Dana Gaier, Chloe Fineman, Stephen Colbert, Will Ferrell
Edited by Tiffany Hillkurtz
Music by: Heitor Pereira (score), Pharrell Williams (songs and themes)
Production company : Illumination
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates : June 9, 2024 (Jazz at Lincoln Center), July 3, 2024 (United States), July 10, 2024 (France)
Running time : 94 minutes

Seen July 7, 2024 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 1 seat L19

Mulder's Mark: