Reviews: Review of “Despicable Me 4,” animated film by Chris Renaud

The fourth installment of the saga arrives (and sixth of the franchise if the two Minions films are included) to “encourage” the local and global box office.

Despicable Me 4 (Despicable Me 4, United States/2024). Director: Chris Renaud. Co-director: Patrick Delage. Screenplay: Mike White and Ken Daurio. Editing: Tiffany Hillkurtz. Music: Heitor Pereira. Songs: Pharrell Williams. With the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Pierre Coffin, Joey King, Sofia Vergara, Stephen Colbert, Miranda Cosgrove, Chloe Fineman, Steve Coogan, Chris Renaud and Dana Gaier (in the original subtitled version). Distributor: UIP (Universal, Illumination). Duration: 95 minutes. Suitable for all audiences.

After My favorite villain (2010), which added just 580,000 entries; of My favourite villain 2 (2013), which grew to 2,620,000; minions (2015), which reached a record of 4,940,000; of Despicable Me 3 (2017), which sold 3,840,000 tickets; and of Minions: A Villain is Born (2022), which reached 4,570,000 locations, comes the fourth film starring Gru and the sixth in the franchise produced by Illumination and Universal Pictures. In these lean times for the world box office (and even more so for Argentina), the premiere of a new film in a saga that has already attracted more than 16.5 million people in our country is an event that is more commercial than artistic.

But (supposedly) this is a criticism rather than an analysis of the business so we go without further ado to the film, which begins with Gru – who is now an agent of the Anti-Villain League led by Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan) – living with his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig), his adopted daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Madison Polan), and now also with one of the film’s main additions, the mischievous and charming baby Gru Jr., who will make his father daze and laugh in equal measure.

The second important novelty of the film is that it introduces an arch-villain Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell), half-man, half-cockroach, who was once Gru’s classmate at boarding school and who will now become his nemesis. This vengeful evil will soon end up in a maximum security prison, but he escapes and forces Gru, his family (and some Minions, of course) to enter a witness protection program and move to a neighborhood where It is almost impossible for them to find them. Guess what happens?

After that prologue, begins an accumulation of adventures (misadventures), gags with a lot of physical humor and action scenes filled with vertigo and adrenaline.Looney Tunes. More of the same? Yes, but with the effectiveness and irresistible sympathy that made this franchise a true passion of the crowds. And The Minions, a no small argument to seduce the youngest viewers, are not only in Gru’s new house but also have several scenes in which they reappear in pure delirium in quantity (and at times in quality).

Thus, with that calculated chaos that the Minions provide, a meeting of old villains and a cover of Everybody Wants To Rule The World (heh), from Tears for Fears, rounds off a film with all the attractions of the family crowd-pleaser. An infallible formula (but formula nonetheless).

One last aside: unlike Disney, which showed critics the original version with subtitles Inside Out 2, UIP decided that we would see the version dubbed into Spanish. I don’t know if there will be an alternative to appreciate Despicable Me 4 with the original voices and subtitled, but the difference between both experiences (in favor of the first, of course) was immense.

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