Despicable Me 4 Review (2024)

Despicable Me 4 Stars Steve Carell, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig, and is Directed by Chris Renaud

Review: Applying a critical lens to an animated movie aimed towards young children can sometimes be a tricky task. I’m doing my best here, and my gut says that Despicable Me 4 could’ve been much better, and that Illumination has more respectable material to offer.

review of Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell) and Gru (Steve Carell) in Despicable Me 4 (2024) from Illumination Studios
Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell) and Gru (Steve Carell) in Despicable Me 4 (2024) from Illumination Studios

Despicable Me 4 Review

Despicable Me 4 carries the same wistful, harmless energy that the other two sequels had, even if that means that they all live inside the shadow of the original 2010 hit. Because despite the limitations brought forward by the original, there were enough new characters and ideas to make worthwhile a movie.

The fourth film pales in comparison to better animated superhero movies. For every installment of The Incredibles, there needs to be a movie that undoes the genre tropes that makes that particular franchise so refreshing and monumental, as if it’s a throwback to the days of comic book obsession and parody. Despicable Me 4 isn’t a damning statement on the current affairs of Hollywood, but it doesn’t reaffirm the direction of the business either.

Due to a villainous rivalry that spans all the way back to their childhood, Gru (voiced by Steve Carell in the usual quasi-Russian accent that you’d come to expect following the franchise) is forced into witness protection program with his family because of the sadistic Maxime Le Mal’s (Will Ferrell) escape from prison.

This storyline isn’t developed all too much in Despicable Me 4, as the movie largely focuses on new shots of adrenaline aimed at revamping the series – like minions gaining superpowers and the family gaining a new member in the form of a toddler to looks oddly similar to Jack-Jack from the aforementioned Incredibles.

Needless to say, the Despicable Me franchise works best when put into the hands of the tiny, jellybean-like figures that are the agents for chaos. The minions are so darn cute and rowdy that they sometimes save questionable material. I’ve liked Steve Carell’s voice acting work as the main supervillain-turned-hero, but the cutesy, often self-indulgent animation always works best with the incoherent yellow goofballs that are up to shenanigans 24/7.

And despite the minions not getting nearly enough screentime in Despicable Me 4, they still offer up the most bang for your buck. They turn into freakin’ superheroes this time around, and despite the obvious cash grab of turning your billion-dollar franchise over to the most popular genre in filmmaking lately, it offers enough laughs to pass through.

Applying a critical lens to an animated movie aimed towards young children can sometimes be a tricky task. After all, Despicable Me 4 is raking in the cash at the box office, holding the film industry over for a bit longer while they search for the next adult-oriented blockbuster. But I’m doing my best here, and my gut says that Despicable Me 4 could’ve been much better, and that Illumination has more respectable material to offer.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Genre: Action, Animation, Comedy, Family

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Despicable Me 4 Film Cast and Credits

despicable me 4 movie review

Despicable Me 4 Cast

Steve Carell as Gru

Will Ferrell as Maxime Le Mal

Kristen Wiig as Lucy

Joey King as Poppy Prescott

Sofía Vergara as Valentina

Miranda Cosgrove as Margo

Dana Gaier as Edith

Madison Polan as Agnes

Steve Coogan as Silas Ramsbottom

Stephen Colbert as Perry Prescott

Despicable Me 4 Credits

Director: Chris Renaud

Writers: Mike WhiteKen Daurio

Editor: Tiffany Hillkurtz

Composer: Heitor Pereira

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