Despicable Me 3, Wimpy Kid: Long Haul, Hitman's Bodyguard and More in This Week's MPAA Bulletin
By Chris Kavan - 04/18/17 at 09:54 PM CT
Another decent updated from the ratings board this week as we can look forward to another Despicable Me outing, another Wimpy Kid outing, Ryan Reynolds in another action/comedy NOT involving a superhero and a bunch more random entries that may pique your interest. At least the board isn't slacking off even after Easter, hopefully I can look forward to many more positive weeks ahead - after I stop salivating over the new Star Wars trailer.
I have to say, animated films these days aren't just for kids. Well, not all of them anyways. I have been a big fan of the Despicable Me series (including the Minions spinoff) since its inception. They movies are safe for the kiddies, but often throw a nod and wink at the adults too. Plus, the soundtracks always seem upbeat and pretty damn good. The franchise has been one of the biggest money-makers for Illumination (and Universal Pictures) and I don't see any reason why Despicable Me 3 won't continue their winning streak. This time around, our villain (aside from the reformed Gru), is Balthazar Bratt, a former child star obsessed with the character is played in the 80s and also bent on world domination. He is voiced by South Park veteran Trey Parker. Complicating matters is the appearance of Gru's long-lost charming, cheerful (and much more successful) twin brother, Dru - who wants to take part in one last heist to steal a diamond that was already lifted by Bratt. Steve Carell once again voices Gru (as well as his twin brother) while also returning will be Kristen Wiig as Gru's new wife Lucy Wilde along with Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Nev Scharrel as Gru's adopted daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes; Russell Brand as the elderly Dr. Nefario and Steve Coogan as the head of the Anti-Villain League, Silas. Oh, and don't worry, there will be Minions as well. If the previous films are any indication, this should be another fun trip - for the kids as well as the adults. Rated PG for action and rude humor.
Another series that is getting yet another entry is the Wimpy Kid series. Granted, I haven't followed this franchise at all, but it has enjoyed a decent run - enough to warrant a fourth entry in the form of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. It has been five years since we last joined this group with Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days and a lot has changed. Perhaps the biggest change is that pretty much everyone in the film has been re-cast - Wimpy Kid lead Greg Heffley once played by Zachary Gordon is now played by Jason Drucker; older brother Rodrick switched from Devon Bostick to Charlie Wright; mother Susan from Rachael Harris to Alicia Silverstone and father Frank from Steve Zahn to Tom Everett Scott. I'm sure some of this can be attributed to the old cast aging out and maybe the parents just needed to be changed up for the heck of it. I don't have a stake in this franchise so I don't know how the cast change will affect it and if the somewhat long five-year break will make a huge difference or not. Rated for some rude humor.
The last big film receiving its ratings due is the action/comedy The Hitman's Bodyguard. Fresh off his red-hot performance in Deadpool (let's just ignore Criminal for now), Ryan Reynolds takes on another wink-and-nod role as the world's top bodyguard, who finds himself on a new assignment to guard a prolific hitman (Samuel L. Jackson - because, who else?) who is set to testify at the International Court of Justice. Despite their differences, they must find a way to work together to make it to the trial on time (and, you know, still alive). It's like a humorous and probably slightly less violent version of John Wick. Plus the new poster is a great take on the original Bodyguard poster. Besides those two, Elodie Yung, Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman, Richard E. Grant, Kirsty Mitchell and Joaquim de Almeida are also co-starring. I mean, this looks like a lot of fun, but it remains to be seen if Reynold's Deadpool good will can transfer to a non-Deadpool role. As least this one is in the wheelhouse of that character - we'll see how audiences react. Rated R for strong violence and language throughout.
Those are the main movies this week but, lucky for you, I still have the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin you can peruse at your leisure below:
Rated PG-13 for violence and some sexuality.
BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN
Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language, violence and action and for rude humor.
BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB: ADIOS
Rated PG for historical smoking throughout, thematic elements and brief suggestive material.
Rated R for language and drug content.
Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout.
DESPICABLE ME 3
Rated PG for action and rude humor.
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL
Rated PG for some rude humor.
HELL ON EARTH: THE FALL OF SYRIA AND THE RISE OF ISIS
Rated R for some disturbing violent images.
THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout.
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including violent images and language.
Rated R for language and some violence.
Rated R for disturbing violence, bloody images and language.
Rated R for language throughout, crude sexual references, some drug use and a brief nude image.
A STORK'S JOURNEY
Rated PG for some mild peril.