This latest installment from Illumination and Universal Pictures is a family-friendly romp featuring a new addition to Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and Lucy’s (voiced by Kristen Wiig) family --- a baby named Gru Jr., whose sole purpose seems to be torturing his poor dad. Directed by Chris Renaud and Patrick Delage with a screenplay by Mike White and Ken Daurio, DESPICABLE ME 4 incorporates all the hallmarks of this wildly successful franchise.


Facing a new and truly evil nemesis, Maxime Le Mal (voiced by Will Ferrell), a classmate of Gru’s from high school, and his girlfriend, Valentina (voiced by Sofía Vergara), Gru and Lucy are forced to relocate their girls, Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (voiced by Dana Gaier) and Agnes (voiced by Madison Polan), along with Gru Jr., to the beautiful city of Mayflower. Hilariously, every home in this picturesque enclave is a veritable mansion, replete with manicured landscapes, except theirs.


Struggling to remember their new identities, Gru and Lucy meet the next-door neighbors, Perry Prescott (voiced by Stephen Colbert), Patsy Prescott (voiced by Chloe Fineman) and their teenage daughter, Poppy Prescott (voiced by Joey King), who wants to become a supervillain. She immediately discovers Gru’s true identity and then blackmails him into helping her steal the mascot from the Lycee Pas Bon School of Villainy, where Gru and Maxime were classmates. Trouble ensues --- plans go awry --- but all in good fun.


DESPICABLE ME 4 is great summer entertainment for the entire family. The animation is superb, Gru Jr. is beyond precious, the Minions are as adorable as ever --- and the music by Grammy-winning Heitor Pereira is phenomenal, featuring many of Pharrell Williams’ songs, and a new original one to boot.


Opinion: Mild See It Now!




A couple of new wrinkles incorporated into the franchise’s

latest film, DESPICABLE ME 4, make it reasonably entertaining, albeit not raucously funny. Gru (Steve Carell) and his partner Lucy (Kristen Wiig) welcome an adorable baby boy into their family mix, but they all find themselves in hiding because Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell) has escaped from prison and is threatening revenge on Gru.


Other notables in the voice cast include Sofía Vergara as Maxime’s girlfriend, Valentina, Stephen Colbert is the voice of Perry Prescott, Gru’s new obnoxious neighbor, and Chloe Fineman from SNL voices Perry’s wife, Patsy. Joey King stands out by voicing Poppy, the teenage daughter of Perry and Patsy.


The film moves quickly --- younger viewers may possibly have difficulty following the storyline --- but there are always the Minions to compensate. And the animation is first-rate, much of it too fast-paced to capture in a single viewing. The filmmakers, including director Chris Renaud, brought in Mike White, the creative mind behind TV’s “White Lotus”, to assist with the script.


The DESPICABLE ME franchise is the highest grossing animation series in cinema history at well over four billion dollars, and DESPICABLE ME 4 will only add to that number. But when will enough be enough?


Opinion:  Wait for VOD