After the massive box office haul of Minions: The Rise of Gru in 2022, Illumination (The Super Mario Bros. Movie) is returning to the main Despicable Me series: To prove it, the first trailer for Despicable Me 4 is finally here.
While a lot of online adults seem to either profoundly dislike or barely tolerate the Despicable Me and Minions movies, the truth is that they've been consistently printing cash since 2010 in a way that cannot be explained with just parents taking their children to cinemas to watch the latest installment. Illumination's signature franchise simply works really well with mainstream audiences, and last year they were able to apply some of that same 'magic' to the aforementioned Super Mario Movie.
In this trailer, we find Gru (Steve Carell) and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) embracing what it means to be a regular family (after several life-altering experiences) with their three adopted girls, a bunch of Minions, and Gru Jr. (AKA the token funny baby). Of course, peace doesn't last long, as Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell) escapes prison and targets them all. Lack of time jump included, it all feels a bit like Pixar's Incredibles 2, and given how hard that sequel squandered the 'superheroic family tries to make it all work' potential with heavy-handed political discourse and some dreadful conservative beats, Despicable Me 4 has a decent shot at being a more functional family-friendly adventure flick that still manages to 'say' something.
Of course, you'll have to first jump through countless slapstick jokes that more often than not fall flat if you're not a child, mostly because they're just tired variations of the comedy the series is widely known for. But Despicable Me has often surprised viewers with some genuinely solid dramatic elements and a good sense of structure, so there are reasons to remain optimistic about the fourquel/sixth entry in the larger franchise.
Judging by Despicable Me 4's first trailer, the new movie promises a return to form after a weak third entry. Can Illumination pull off here what made Minions: The Rise of Gru a winner after the tepid reception the first spinoff garnered? Watch it below and judge for yourself before the movie opens on July 3, 2024:
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