“Despicable Me 3” (Universal)

Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, appears in the animated movie "Despicable Me 3." (CNS/Universal)

By Catholic News Service

Strong values accompany a weak central plot in this animated comedy, the second direct follow-up to the 2010 original.

As the once slightly wicked villain (voice of Steve Carell) who turned thoroughgoing good guy over the course of the first two films tries to thwart an ex-child actor (voice of Trey Parker) whose 1980s TV show was abruptly canceled from wreaking delayed vengeance by destroying Hollywood, he also discovers that he has a brother (also voiced by Carell) his mother (voice of Julie Andrews) never told him about. The siblings quickly bond, and family life is further celebrated through scenes of the protagonist’s interaction with his supportive wife and crime-fighting partner (voiced by Kristen Wiig) and their shared nurturing of their trio of adopted daughters (voices of Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Nev Scharrel).

Though jokes riffing on Reagan-era fads and fashions generally fall flat, the pixilated minions (voiced by director Pierre Coffin) who once carried out the main character’s bidding — and who featured in their own 2015 film — are on hand to get things back on track.

Characters in peril, brief partial nudity played for laughs, mild scatological and anatomical humor, a couple of vaguely crass slang terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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