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‘Despicable Me 4:’ Not Quite Despicable Enough

The movie is a fun installment in the “Despicable Me” franchise, but it still leaves something to be desired.
Courtesy of Universal Pictures. © 2024 Universal Pictures All Rights Reserved.


After a seven-year hiatus, Gru and his family are back in “Despicable Me 4.” This latest installment delivers the same brand of humor and heartwarming moments that audiences have come to expect. While it might not quite reach the heights of the original “Despicable Me,” it’s still thoroughly entertaining.

Gru’s New Life

The film kicks off with Gru, now a seasoned agent of the Anti-Villain League, facing a new nemesis: the flamboyant and vengeful Maxime Le Mal. Meanwhile, on the home front Gru grapples with the challenges of fatherhood, especially with his new son, Gru Jr.

While it might not be the most groundbreaking entry in the franchise, “Despicable Me 4” delivers a fun and entertaining ride. The animation continues to be top-notch, with vibrant colors and detailed backgrounds that bring Gru’s world to life. The cinematography is quite dynamic and the animators did a great job at capturing each character’s unique personality.

The voice acting also remains stellar, with Steve Carell perfectly capturing Gru’s signature blend of gruffness and goofiness. The movie also starred Will Ferrell as the main antagonist, and it was quite entertaining to hear Carell and Ferrell go back and forth.

Something to be Desired

However, the plot itself felt a little too straightforward. It’s understandable considering this is a movie meant for kids, but compared to the other films in the franchise, it fell flat. The dynamic between Maxime and Gru could have been explored a little more, considering they have been rivals since they were kids. It felt like there was a lot more depth to their relationship than what the film itself showed. 

The movie throws a lot at the audience, juggling Gru’s family life, the new villain’s plot and the Minions. At times, this can feel overwhelming, leaving some storylines underdeveloped. For instance, Gru’s relationship with Lucy could have benefited from more exploration, particularly their dynamic as parents.

Another issue with the plot was that it felt slightly rushed. There could have been a lot more scenes with Gru and his girls, especially Margo. It’s understandable that there weren’t as many considering there are three other films focusing on the relationships and characters, but it was still lacking. This is especially obvious considering how Gru seemed to have more screen time with new characters than with his own family. Even so, the scenes that we did get were still very fun.

Another missed opportunity lies in the film’s ending. While satisfying, it feels a bit rushed. A few extra scenes fleshing out the aftermath could have added a layer of depth and closure. Since the ending of the movie didn’t feel like a conclusion of the series, it is highly likely that there will be another addition to the franchise.

Still a Fun Summer Flick

Despite these minor shortcomings, “Despicable Me 4” is not a bad film in any way. The Minions are, of course, hilarious in their usual gibberish-spewing way. Their antics are a guaranteed source of laughter for audiences of all ages. There are also some genuinely sweet moments between Gru and his family, as well as some funny ones. 

The movie also had many references to the previous “Despicable Me” movies as well as other iconic films. It was fun to catch the little easter eggs Illumination left scattered throughout.

Ultimately, “Despicable Me 4” is a fun summer flick. It might not be the most memorable installment in the franchise, but it offers a good dose of laughs and lighthearted entertainment for the whole family. Just don’t expect it to be as despicable as its predecessors.


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About the Contributor
Isra Habib
Isra Habib, Arts Writer
Isra Habib is a second year student at the University of Utah, majoring in film and media arts with a minor in English. She joined the Chronicle because she enjoys discussing different media topics and wants to improve her writing. When not stressing over deadlines, Isra can usually be found rewatching her favorite movies, spending time with family and friends or traveling.

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