Thursday, July 9

Minions Review

Dir: Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Geoffrey Rush, and Steve Carell
91 Minutes
Universal Pictures

A minion needs a master but does the master really need a minion? In the case of the giggling, goofy product of the “Despicable Me” franchise, the master may want to steer clear of this disaster inducing group of faithful minions. Focusing on the babbling yellow miscreants, who were a comedic surprise from the first two films, was an obvious choice and the creative team behind “Minions” understand exactly what this film is suppose to be, quickly squeezing in the silly quality of humor these small characters are known for into early scenes.  However these minions need a master and when the film moves into this purpose the laughs become harder to find and the product becomes repetitious.

The Minions have always been around, scouring the world for the most devious and dastardly villain to serve. Though keeping a master is a lot harder than the Minions expected, and throughout the ages, as the film portrays, they have aided quite a few.  The Minions find themselves without a villain to follow and retreat to a snowy cave waiting for their next opportunity. They wait, and wait, and wait. Three minions named Kevin, Stuart, and Bob decide to find their next master, leading them to a convention for villains in Orlando and into won servitude with Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock). The big caper for Scarlett and her minions…the Queen’s crown.

The film establishes a clever introduction assisted by the narrating voice of Geoffrey Rush who gives a David Attenborough “Planet Earth” inspired voiceover of how the Minions came to be. Through an ingenious combination of a few funny short sequences, the film establishes the history of the Minions, leading them to the 1960’s. These short sequences become somewhat of a familiar theme throughout the film, one that disregards the balance of the narrative in favor of moments that don’t always offer assisting qualities. While some of these moments are actually quite amusing, like a journey through New York City or a walk through a convention floor filled with baddies, it unfortunately runs out of steam once new characters are introduced. 

The cast of voice actors here are interesting. Sandra Bullock voices Scarlett Overkill, a super villain dressed with artillery-laden layers and a mean penchant for wanting to be a princess. Michael Keaton and Alison Janney also make a nice combination as a husband and wife crime family, stick-up masks and rocket launchers in tow. To assist these talented voices are equally talented musicians featured on the classic rock loaded soundtrack, which also includes a few renditions from the Minions.

Fans of the “Despicable Me” franchise know exactly what to expect with this film, a mix of mischief, mayhem, and silliness. The charming qualities in “Minions” are bound to delight fans even if the story that accompanies isn’t very good. While the adults may lose interest, the children at the screening I attended never stopped laughing, that should be more than enough reason for a summer sequel or two in years to come.

Monte’s Rating

2.50 out of 5.00

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