The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Review | Despicable Me 4 entertains with a familiar story and characters

Gru and his minions recently returned to the big screen with the newest installment in the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise. While the movie retreads some familiar ground, it also serves as an entertaining new addition to Gru’s story.
Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY
Joey King arrives on the red carpet during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. King stars in “Despicable Me 4” as Poppy, Gru’s neighbor and aspiring villain.

This summer, Gru and his minions returned to the big screen to create more chaos, laughter, and hijinks in “Despicable Me 4.”

Ever since the first “Despicable Me” graced our screens in 2010, the franchise has been known for its crazy stories, touching moments, and comedic charm. Each “Despicable Me” movie isn’t made to reinvent the wheel of cinema but, instead, to entertain audiences who want to sit back and laugh for two hours.

That is exactly what the newest installment does.

While “Despicable Me 4” does retread some familiar ground, it also explores new dynamics — both with Gru and his family and with entertaining new characters.

The movie follows Gru once again as he adds a new member to his family in the form of Gru Jr. While dealing with the new baby, Gru also must contend with an old rival and criminal mastermind in Maxime Le Mal.

Gru, as a character, stepped up a lot in this movie. It was fun to see him and Gru Jr. grow from merely tolerating one another to having a genuinely loving father-son bond. I also enjoyed his relationship with wannabe villainess Poppy Prescott, his next-door neighbor who blackmails him into helping with a heist.

It was nice to see someone look up to and respect Gru and to see Gru fit into more of a mentor role. Their heist was filled with tons of funny moments and served as an entertaining plot point within the movie.

The minions, as always, worked to provide their own unique brand of comedy throughout the entire film. I love the minions and found myself laughing at their antics, especially once they gained superpowers and began to try and help stop crime around the city.

If there was one main complaint I had with “Despicable Me 4,” it was that it tried to do too much too fast.

Super-powered minions, secret identities, Poppy’s antics, and the overarching villainous plot of Maxime were all shoved into one movie and didn’t always have a direct connection with one another.

I would’ve loved to see more of each of the individual plot points as well as more of Gru’s time at villain school. I thought it was an interesting topic that the movie never truly delved into.

Margo, Edith, and Agnes — the three girls who Gru adopts in the first movie — were often given the short end of the stick regarding their screen time. The three girls helped endear me to the movies in the first place, so it would have been nice to see them take a more central role in the story, but instead, they acted more as extras.

Overall, “Despicable Me 4” was a movie made to entertain audiences with familiar characters and plot points. I enjoyed it for what it was and will probably continue to go and see more of the minions whenever they find their way into theaters.

Gru and company never fail to entertain!

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About the Contributor
Riley Dunn
Riley Dunn, Arts Reporter
Riley Dunn is a first-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in English and Creative Writing and Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to her time at the DI, Riley interned for Swimming World Magazine.