Minions Review

The Plot

Everyone’s favourite yellow servants get their own origin story! Minions sees Stuart, Bob and Kevin recruited by super villain Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock) in her plan to steal the crown jewels in 1960s London.

The Good

Ever since Despicable Me entered the hall of animation fame thanks to the popularity of master villain Gru’s minions, the loveable babbling workers have won the world over and were even rewarded with a bigger role in Despicable Me 2. Now though, while we wait for the third instalment, fans are treated to even more antics in a prequel that offers just as many laughs as their previous two cinematic outings.

From the second the Universal logo rolls across the screen with the theme tune dubbed over by the minions voices, to the worthwhile post credits sequence , Minions manages to maintain the same consistency in enjoyable slapstick humor that made the previous Despicable Me films such a treat.

After an opening sequence which has almost slightly been drained of its humour thanks to it’s use in the trailers, Stuart, Bob and Kevin move on to London with highlights including constant tea drinking (of course) and a guest role for Queen Elizabeth.

Minions often use the guiding hand of a narrator and some more intelligible human characters to move the plot along, in spite of the fact that the Minions are at best capable of charming child like gibberish. Though of course the real secret of the Minions near universal appeal is that their entertaining physical gestures and emotional expressions are actually capable of communicating so much to audiences of any age.

The Bad

Unfortunately, compared to Despicable Me, the storyline is not as entertaining as the minions themselves. This is  mainly due to the fact Bullock’s villainess  just isn’t as fun as Steve Carell’s Gru. Where Gru is a villain with a soft gooey fatherhood center, Scarlet is just plain mean and lacks any redeeming likability.The lack of Gru hurts Minions, eventually making it feel less like an enjoyable standalone movie and more like an extended minions short that is just filling up the time waiting for Despicable Me 3.

The film is arguably at its best during the opening sequence showing the evolution of the minion and their need of a despicable master to serve in order to survive.Narrated by the soothing tones of Geoffrey Rush it demonstrates just effective the Minions slapstick antics can be when combined with inventive writing and clever visual gags. As the film ambitiously tries to stretch things into feature length proportions it inevitably relies more on the generic human characters surrounding the minions and loses the concise charm of the Minions short film. In truth the Minions truly work best either as background comedy relief or on their own in smaller doses.

The Ugly Truth

While it is consistently funny with some genuine highlights in it’s main 1960’s London storyline, Minions feels somewhat like a way for the profitable franchise to tread water while the studio continues working on the eagerly anticipated follow up to the sublime Despicable Me 2. Though of course, more Minions mayhem is always welcome…

Review by Johnny Ellis

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