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MOVIE REVIEW

Despicable Me 4

also known as “Gru 4,” “Cattivissimo me 4,” “Çılgın Hırsız 4,” “Détestable moi 4,” “Dumma mej 4,” “Grozan ja 4,” “Gru - O Maldisposto 4,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-Rating for action and rude humor.

Reviewed by: Eric Tiansay
CONTRIBUTOR

Moral Rating: Good
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Family
Genre: Animation Adventure Comedy Family 3D Sequel
Length: 1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release: 2024
USA Release: July 3, 2024 (wide release)
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Relevant Issues

Criminal conspiracy

Importance of family and honor

What is LYING? What are the truly BIG lies of our world?

What is truth?

Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Featuring Steve CarellGru (voice)
Kristen WiigLucy Wilde (voice)
Joey KingPoppy (voice)
Will FerrellMaxime Le Mal (voice)
Sofía Vergara (Sofia Vergara) … Valentina (voice)
Miranda CosgroveMargo (voice)
Steve CooganSilas Ramsbottom (voice)
Dana GaierEdith (voice)
Stephen ColbertPerry Prescott (voice)
Chloe FinemanPoppy’s mother (voice)
Pierre CoffinMinions (voice)
See all »
Director Chris Renaud
Patrick Delage
Producer Illumination Entertainment
Universal Pictures
See all »
Distributor

“Gru’s Been Compromised!”, Silas Ramsbottom (voiced by Steve Coogan) exclaims in “Despicable Me 4” regarding Gru (Steve Carell), the supervillain-turned-Anti-Villain League-agent.

Gru’s past with Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell), his old rival from his boarding school days, catches up with him when his position is revealed.

Gru may have been compromised, but Christians and families won’t have to compromise their values and convictions to enjoy the latest installment in the beloved animated franchise, which features a solid moral, pro-family stance.

Families will have an extra reason to celebrate the Fourth of July as the first Despicable Me movie in seven years offers plenty of laughs (courtesy of the lovable Minions of course and voiced by Pierre Coffin) and a fun adventure. The movie espouses the bond between a father and a child, while spotlighting the importance of telling the truth.

Q & A

What is LYING? What are the truly BIG lies of our world?

What is truth?

“Despicable Me 4” starts with a bang when Gru runs into Maxime (with Ferrell sporting a ridiculous French accent) as his evil classmate at Lycee Pas Bon, the premier institution for aspiring villains. During their school reunion, Maxime unveils harnessing the power of the near-indestructible cockroach for nefarious purposes.

But Gru stops him in his tracks and arrests Maxime. However, with the help of his bug army and girlfriend Valentina (Sofía Vergara), the bad guy escapes the Anti-Villain League’s (AVL) maximum security prison.

Before escaping, Maxime records a video message seeking revenge and vowing to “exterminate Gru.” He pledges to kidnap and brainwash Gru’s infant baby, Gru Jr.

Fearing for the safety of Gru’s family, AVL boss Silas Ramsbottom then relocates the group, which now includes Gru Jr., to a seemingly safe house in the upscale community of Mayflower.

Because Maxime is out to get them, Gru, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Madison Skyy Polan) must take on new names.

As the youngest daughter, Agnes is still too young to fully grasp the concept of an alias and despises the idea of lying about her real name—Brittany.

Agnes: “We aren’t supposed to lie.”

Gru humorously retorts: “Don’t think of it as lying. Think of it as high-stakes pretending.”

Agnes: “Well, I’m not going to.”

Gru then tries to reason with her by saying: “Why can’t you be more like your sister Edith? She lies all the time.”

Fortunately, Agnes sticks to telling the truth.

The AVL also takes custody of all but three of the Minions. In a parody of Captain America’s super-serum transformation, Silas blasts five of the yellow creatures with some kind of radiation.

“You’ll be the first to test our super-serum, designed to transform you into cutting-edge agents, or you might just explode,” Silas points out.

The Mega Minions or Fantastic Five are transformed with powers of stretching and smashing (Tim and Dave), and chomping and floating (Jerry and Gus), while one-eyed X-Minion (Mel) has a visor like Cyclops that can blast a laser all the way to outer space.

The converted super heroes produce plenty of laugh-out loud moments as they perform parodies of well-known scenes from Spider-Man and other movies.

Speaking of Minions, they supply a majority of the amusing Looney Tunes-y micro-segments throughout the film, which sometimes seems distracting and out of place with the movie’s multi plots.

As Gru’s family is forced to go on the run, they meet Poppy Prescott (Joey King). Poppy, the young teenage girl next door, recognizes Gru. With aspirations to be a villain, Poppy, who was “born to be bad,” blackmails Gru into helping her steal the School of Villainy’s mascot, a mean honey badger. But the heist reveals the family’s secret location and endangers Gru’s infant son.

Gru’s efforts to bond with Gru Jr. is a key message of the film.

Steve Carell has previously shared with the media his desire to be a “good dad.”

“I think the things that align with me in terms of Gru are the fact that all he cares about is being a good dad,” the father of two told “Today.” “And I think that reflects who I am.”

Although Gru was a villain, once he adopts three little girls, taking care of them becomes his priority.

“It’s one of the things I loved about this series is that for all of his other faults and little foibles, he’s a good dad, and he is incredibly committed to his kids,” Carrell explained. “So I think he’s a good role model. He took pride in being a villain and being a horrible person and stealing things and being despicable. And then when he met these three little girls, his heart softened and changed, and he saw the value in being the dad and the value and family.”

Featuring gorgeous animation and running a brisk 95 minutes, “Despicable Me 4” is packed with slapstick humor and heartwarming family moments that fans have come to expect. The Illumination and Universal Studios tentpole is estimated to have a five-day holiday debut of $120 million at the domestic box office, including $70 million for the three-day weekend, according to the “Hollywood Reporter.”

That’s in line with expectations and a strong start for the fourth outing in the main franchise, and the sixth in the Despicable Me/Minions series, which combined ranks as the top-grossing animated franchise of all time, the publication noted.

A fortysomething dad with two young sons who I brought to my “Despicable Me 4” screening perhaps best described the film.

“We all felt the movie was refreshing and had a simple element of fun like movies used to be when we were kids. There was no woke content, political agenda material or vulgar language. A couple of scenes were a little dicey with the roach guns, but it wasn’t too bad. We would recommend it to families who want to have a good laugh and just be silly for a couple of hours.”

What to watch for: Rated PG for action and rude humor, “Despicable Me 4” is packed with non-stop action and filled with Illumination’s signature subversive humor. There’s a couple of insults, including “loser” and “idiot,” as well as Minion-speak words that sound like “poop.” One of the girls in Gru’s family tells her pet goal to sit. But it sounded like s**t, making it poop on the ground. There’s a glimpse of a Minion butt, as well as lots of Minion jokes and pranks plus bathroom humor. A woman’s head catches fire at a hairdresser’s salon. Gru’s wife, Lucy, drinks what looks like an alcoholic beverage at a country club. The minion’s mutated transformations may be frightening to some viewers. Some children might struggle to follow the movie as there a multiple plots going on at the same time.

  • Violence: Mild
  • Profane language: Minor
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Minor
  • Vulgar/Crude language: None
  • Nudity: None
  • Sex: None
  • Occult: None
  • Wokeism: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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