Film Review – Minions
Ever since Return of the Jedi was released in 1983, I’ve lived with the nickname “Jabba”.
Mr. “The Hutt” aka “The most vile, notorious gangster in the universe” is a pretty awesome character. Sadly however I earned the moniker Jabba, not because I was notorious, or a gangster, just “oversized”.
So for thirty plus (sized) years I’ve identified with film villains.
From Darth Vader to Bane these types of characters rock my world.
And so, in 2010’s Despicable Me, I fell in love with a man who delights in all things wicked, super villain Gru (Steve Carell) and his plan to steal the moon.
3 years late he returned in Despicable Me 2, having forsaken a life of crime to raise three girls, and he’d lost some of his panache, as he settled into his role as the world’s greatest ex-villain.
This year sees the origin story of Gru’s little yellow helpers in Minions.
Like DM 1 & 2, the film has eye-popping visuals and is packed with sight gags.
But can a cast of non-English speaking optically challenged pill shaped creatures carry a feature film?
Blessed with a daughter of my own, 7 & ½ year old Ruby, she was entertained by the cuteness of the film’s three lead Minions – Bob, complete with Mr. Bean-like brown teddy bear, Stuart, the ukulele toting one eyed short Minion with combed hair, and fearless leader Kevin.
I however found the story lacking a coherent direction and was repeatedly lost trying to understand certain aspects of the Minions.
Minions is an origin story. Evolving from single-celled yellow organisms at the dawn of time, Minions live to serve, but find themselves working for a continual series of not so masterful masters, from T. Rex to Napoleon. Without a master to grovel for, the Minions fall into a deep depression. But one minion, Kevin, has a plan; accompanied by his pals Stuart and Bob, Kevin sets forth to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. Their search leads them to Scarlet Overkill, the world’s first-ever super-villainess.
We see these yellow dudes at survive the Jurassic age, the middle ages where they unwittingly bring about the downfall of their vampire master, all the way through to 1968, where on a quest to find a super villain to serve they make their way firstly to New York then onto Orlando for Super villain-con where they vie for the attention of Scarlett Overkill.
Why do they need to serve a master in the first place?
Are they an analogy for human beings in the rat race?
Little kids will delight in the simplistic nature of this film, and adults should be able to enjoy just enough of the many gags to maintain interest in this spin off film.
When we finally meet a young Gru at the films finale, it was too little too late of my favourite ex-super villain.
And 90 minutes of incomprehensible dialogue becomes punishing after about the first fifteen minutes.