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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Despicable Me 4 (PG) - 95 minutes

Oh my. What a wonderful fourth movie in the franchise (six if you count the Minions’ films). How clever, creative and funny.

 

The Despicable Me series shows no signs of waning. Quite the contrary.

 

Gru (the voice of Steve Carell), the world’s favourite supervillain turned Anti Villain League (AVL) agent is attending his 1985 high school reunion.

 

It is where his former nemesis, Maxime Le Mal (the voice of Will Ferrell), continues to mock him and laud it all over him.

 

Much to his chagrin, Principal Übelschlecht announces Le Mal as the most successful student made good, presenting him with a trophy.

 

But that is where the real skulduggery begins because in his victory speech Le Mal outlines a nefarious plan in which he turns into an all-powerful mega cockroach.

 

With an army of loyal cockroaches behind him, he is ready to take over the world, that is until Gru and members of the AVL capture and jail him.

 

The problem is Le Mal isn’t in prison long before he is sprung, with vengeance in mind.

To that end, the Anti Villain League must act swiftly to keep Gru and his family out of harm’s way. So, at short notice, they move to the picturesque town of Mayflower.

 

I speak about Gru, his partner Lucy (Kristen Wiig), daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Maddison Polan), and baby Gru Junior.

 

The family members are given false names and the parents adopt new fake occupations.

 

With them are their three closest minions, who continue to get up to all sorts of mischief.

So, too, the army of minions who are all shifted to AVL headquarters.

 

Among them five, so called volunteers are turned into mega minions (larger versions of minions who can get into bigger trouble) to help recapture Le Mal.

 

Gru is prevailed upon to tone down his cranky ways.

 

He tries to ingratiate himself to his uppity car dealership owner neighbour Perry Prescott (Stephen Colbert) and Perry’s snooty daughter Poppy (Joey King).

 

In fact, Poppy – who dreams of becoming a supervillain and is obsessed with all things villainous – blackmails Gru into helping her pull a heist at his old school.

 

While not all goes according to plan, Gru’s real reckoning is yet to come.

 

That will happen when despite AVL’s elaborate planning and with his femme fatale girlfriend Valentina (Sofia Vergara) in tow, Le Mal uncovers Gru’s secret new home.

 

Despicable Me has a delightful script, which is beautifully realised with a surfeit of colour and movement, and hijinks aplenty.

 

The characters are well drawn and there are laughs in almost every scene.

Many stem from Gru’s awkward relationship with his new son, who is a real trouble maker.

 

Equally, the minions are frequently out of control, but continue to do their own thing, with some hilarious consequences.

 

And let’s be frank – the voice talent is epic.

 

I regard Despicable Me 4 as the ultimate family film in which mirth and merriment abound.

 

It is perfect for children and adults alike.

 

Rated PG, it scores an 8½ out of 10.

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