“Minions have been on this planet far longer than we have. They all have the same goal: to serve the most despicable master around. Finding a master was easy, keeping a master…that’s where things got tricky,” says the Narrator (Geoffrey Rush) as the minions accidentally cause the demise of their master, a T-Rex during the dinosaur era in the beginning of the animated adventure Minions.
Yes, the loyal, cute and lovable yellow minions get their own movie and their own shot at telling the story of how many masters they went through before finally finding Gru (Steve Carell) in Despicable Me. When the minions keep inadvertently causing the deaths of their masters, they fall into a deep depression in the arctic wasteland where they tried to create their own civilization. One minion named Kevin decides to venture out to find a new evil boss who his entire clan can serve. Knowing it’s going to be a long and hard journey, Kevin looks for volunteers and finds only two willing to join him: Stuart, the guitar-playing, banana-eating rebel; and little innocent Bob. Together the three travel a long distance until they reach New York City in 1968 and attend the Villain-Con, a giant gathering of evil villains and wanna-be-villains. There they meet Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), the world’s first–ever female super-villain who’s looking for a few good henchmen to help her steal the royal crown of Queen Victoria.
Colorful, cute, and funny, Minions is a zany yet uneven adventure that’s sure to entertain both kids and adults looking for a mindless, silly movie. It’s a prequel to the film Despicable Me telling the story of the minions before they team up with Gru.
The best part of Minions is easily the first half of the film when we’re treating to the tales of how the well-meaning minions kept accidentally killing their evil masters, starting in prehistoric times and traveling through history, with the goofy yellow guys hilariously ending the lives of a caveman, some Egyptians, a vampire, and a French General. This is by far the most entertainment part of the entire film. It’s also all in the very first trailer Universal released back in November promoting the film which means that once again the best part of the film can and has been seen in the trailer.
The second half changes the pacing drastically and not for the better by introducing the character of Scarlet Overkill voiced by Sandra Bullock as the major villain who Kevin, Stuart and Bob hope to work for. The biggest problem with Scarlet is she’s just not that interesting or clever, and she’s not funny. In fact, she’s hands-down the most boring super-villain to come along in a while.
The other element missing in the movie Minions is emotion. There’s no heart or warmth involved in any of the characters, and no growth. In Despicable Me Gru came to care for and eventually love the three little girls he adopted to help him steal the moon. Here it’s just one goofy scene after another of the minions looking for a master and dealing with Scarlet. Still as long as families enter the theater only looking for a silly, fun adventure with these cute little yellow guys, there should be enough good humor and slapstick to make it worth a matinee price ticket.
MPAA rating: PG for action and rude humor
Running time: 91 minutes
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