Despicable Me 3

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades

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Imagine a former child star who is bitter that his television show was cancelled and has become a supervillain intent on destroying Hollywood. No, it’s not Billy Mumy or Danny Bonaduce or Jay North. We’re talking about Balthazar Bratt, the nemesis of Felonious Gru, the character voiced in a Russian accent by Steve Carell in three “Despicable Me” movies and numerous spinoffs.

As you’ll recall, Gru is a disgruntled former villain who is leader of the Minions, those small, yellow, comical henchmen who speak in gibberish.

In “Despicable Me 3” — now playing at Tropic Cinema — Gru is married to Lucy Wild, a former secret agent known for her fancy gadgets. Together, they parent three adoptive daughters while trying to stay on the straight and narrow.

In this third “Despicable Me” outing, Gru discovers he has a long-lost twin brother named Dru, also voiced by Steve Carell, this time with a German accent. Dru wants his brother to teach him how to be a villain, but Gru is unwilling to go back to his old ways.

Meanwhile, the afore-mentioned Balthazar Bratt manages to steal the world’s largest diamond, which he plans to use to power a giant robot that will punish Hollywood execs for cancelling his show.

So — you guessed it — Dru convinces Gru to steal the diamond back, a heroic act that might get Gru and Lucy re-hired by the Anti-Villain League.

In addition to Steve Carell (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” TV’s “The Office”), Kristin Wiig (Saturday Night Live, “Bridesmaids”) returns as Lucy Wilde. And Trey Parker (TV’s “South Park”) does his voice thing as Balthazar Bratt. Julie Andrews (“Mary Poppins,” “The Sound of Music”) returns as Gru and Dru’s mother Mariena. And Russell Brand (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) is Dr. Nefario, the hearing-impaired inventor with an eye for Mariena.

Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud continue to make those nonsensical gurgling noises as Minions.

This 3D computer-animated comedy has the tagline, “Oh brother,” a reference to Gru’s separated-at-birth twin. But we might select one that refers to their nemesis, “Oh what a Bratt.”

Email Shirrel at srhoades@aol.com

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