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“Despicable Me 4” (PG) ★★★½

By July 7, 2024July 8th, 2024Backstage Pass

“Despicable Me 4” (2024), the newest installment in Illumination’s fan-favorite franchise, continues its predecessors’ fun, fast-paced, and visually appealing structure. The film’s stunning animation, vibrant colors, and attention to detail are sure to captivate fans of the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise. Beginning with a high-stakes brawl at Gru’s school reunion, the main antagonist is quickly established as Maxime Le Mal, an old nemesis determined to take his revenge for the wrongs Gru committed against him when they were at school together. This major threat to their safety forces Gru and his family, with the addition of Gru Jr., to relocate to an inconspicuous new town full of interesting neighbors with mysterious motives.


The family finds themselves in several sticky situations as they try to blend in and lay low, resulting in plenty of hilarious chase scenes sure to keep you entertained.
While Gru has always been a role model for his girls, ‘Despicable Me 4 ‘delves deeper into his character. We witness his growth as a mentor, particularly in his evolving relationship with his son and the children around him. His journey to earn Gru Jr.’s approval, despite the initial resistance, is a heartwarming aspect of the film.

The film’s pacing is designed to keep young viewers engaged. There’s always something happening on screen, whether it’s advancing the central conflict or adding a humorous side plot. The timeline is easy to follow, and new characters and their motives are introduced understandably for a younger audience. Despite its target audience, the film cleverly incorporates jokes that older viewers can appreciate. Moments like, “If you think I’m above fighting children, you picked the wrong dojo,” demonstrate the film’s versatile humor. And, of course, the antics of the minions keep the atmosphere light and everyone laughing.

In line with the previous ‘Despicable Me’ movies, the soundtrack was outstanding. Pharell Williams continued his work for the franchise with the phenomenal track ‘Double Life,’ a funky, bass-driven tune that sets the mischievous tone of the film and is sure to get stuck in your head. Williams is joined alongside originals from Teezo Touchdown and Lil Yachty while engaging an older audience with songs such as ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ from Guns N’ Roses and Tears For Fears, respectively. The film’s soundtrack, ranging from K-pop to hip-hop and even to classical rock, caters to different age groups, ensuring there’s something for everybody that stays true for the movie.

Directors: Chris Renaud, Patrick Delage

Studio: Universal Studios, Illumination

Actors: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Pierre Coffin, Joey King, Sofia Vergara, Stephen Colbert, Miranda Cosgrove, Chloe Fineman, Steve Coogan, Chris Renaud, Dana Gaier, Madison Polan

Writers: Mike White, Ken Daurio

Runtime: 1 hr 35 min

Kathryn Rachford © July 4, 2024 written review

Sarah Knight Adamson Hollywood 360 Network  Radio July 6, 2024