‘Despicable Me 4’ movie review: Surf this tide of multi-hued super-villainy including the blue-and-yellow kind

New vamps, villains, fans, mega-minions and wicked school principals populate this busy summer film which is enjoyable to the last ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ sing-along

Updated - July 05, 2024 07:13 pm IST

Published - July 05, 2024 06:00 pm IST

A still from ‘Despicable Me 4’ 

A still from ‘Despicable Me 4’ 

The sixth entry in the Despicable Me franchise and a sequel to 2017’s Despicable Me 3, Despicable Me 4 sees Felonious Gru (Steve Carell) heading to his school Lycée Pas Bon for a reunion. But he is also undercover for the Anti-Villain League (AVL) to capture Maxine Le Mal (Will Ferrell).

Maxine and Gru have a long-standing rivalry from their school days especially after Gru sang Culture Club’s ‘Karma Chameleon’ dressed as Boy George at the talent show. Maxine, who was planning to sing the same song, also dressed as Boy George, could not do so as everyone would think he was copying Gru (shudder).

Despicable Me 4 
Director: Chris Renaud
Voice cast: 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
Story line: Gru and his family are relocated to a safe house after some of his activities at the AVL. There, however, is no rest for the wicked as he is hounded by an old school rival and a new fan
Run time:  94 minutes

Maxine has developed many villainous properties including a machine to turn people into enhanced bugs. Gru arrests Maxine who promptly escapes the AVL’s maximum security prison with help from his femme fatale girlfriend Valentina (Sofía Vergara) and swears vengeance on Gru and his family.

The former director of AVL Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan) comes out of retirement to get Gru and his family, which includes his wife,Lucy (Kristen Wiig) adopted daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Madison Polan) and son Gru Jr, (Tara Strong) to a safe house in the upscale Mayflower neighbourhood.  

A still from ‘Despicable Me 4’ 

A still from ‘Despicable Me 4’ 

Though the Grus, with the cover name of Cunningham, try to blend in, they do stick out. Gru’s attempt at making friends with his neighbour the super-rich Perry Prescott (Stephen Colbert) fall flat while Lucy’s efforts at the hair salon end up in an epic fail with burning a customer, Melora’s (Laraine Newman) hair. Perry’s wife Patsy (Chloe Fineman) invites the Cunninghams to a game of tennis, which Lucy knows is no sign of being accepted.

The Prescott daughter Poppy (Joey King), however recognises Gru and blackmails him to joining her on a heist to steal the school mascot. Apart from the three minions (Pierre Coffin) who accompany the Gru family, the rest are at AVL headquarters and Silas puts five into a programme for the creation of super-powered Mega Minions. The programme is quickly shut down as the Mega Minions unleash all kinds of mayhem under the guise of helping.

The voice work is fun with most of the gang reprising their roles. Romesh Ranganathan as Gru’s quarter master Dr. Nefario and Chris Renaud as the tough-as-nails principal Übelschlecht have a blast as do Ferrell and Vergara. Some of the sequences are inventive, especially the one with the mega minion and the Swiss cheese.

Stuff keeps happening through Despicable Me 4’s 94 minutes and before you know it, the credits are rolling, which might be a good thing if you want to pounded into submission with a relentless procession of gags. Despicable Me 4 is fun while it lasts, but might not stand as a synonym for enduring.

Despicable Me 4 is currently running in theatres

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