By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B- (3 stars)
A Minions movie, who came up with this brilliant idea? It’s the ultimate cash grab when it comes to family entertainment. Everyone should be familiar with the incredibly popular yellow, banana loving little guys from the hit Despicable Me franchise by this point, I still stand that the Minion slapstick moments from Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 are some of the funniest physical humor I’ve ever seen in an animated movie, so how about an entire hour and a half of that?
That’s pretty much what the Minions movie is, a prequel to the first Despicable Me movie and the first movie to be entirely focused on the Minions. And for what it is, it’s a decent animated comedy, some of the Minion humor gets a little tiresome after a while but with enough creative scenarios, energetic animation, side characters, and visual gags, it’s pretty much what you would expect, it’s the Minions on an adventure to find a master with often hilarious results.
Minions have existed on Earth far longer than humans, dated all the way back to the Jurassic period (and no this isn’t a Minions/Jurassic Park crossover!). Throughout their entire lives, the Minions have been on a quest to find the most “Despicable” master they could to lead them and so they could have a purpose in life.
They survived the age of dinosaurs, the dawn of man, the reign of Anubis, the French Revolution, and they even blew the dark ages to dust…literally on their quest to find a master to serve, but unfortunately everything fails. So three Minions named Kevin, Stuart, and Bob set off on an adventure to find the greatest villain of all time for the Minions to serve before they go extinct.
Kevin, Stuart, and Bob make their way to Orlando, Florida, 1969 B.G. (Before Gru) home of Villain-Con, an entire convention dedicated to supervillains; think Comic Con minus the superheroes. While there they learn about one of the greatest supervillains of all time, as well as the first female villain, the Red Hot as Lava, Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock-The Blind Side, The Heat, Gravity) and her tech savvy husband, Herb (Jon Hamm-Mad Men, Million Dollar Arm) who recruit Kevin, Stuart, and Bob to steal Queen Elizabeth’s crown so she could rule England and possibly the world, what follows is slapstick, shenanigans, traitors, and over the top action.
Overall, Minions is a passable movie to show the kids, but unlike Cars 2, Planes, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Smurfs, there’s actual thought and effort put into the film that should get some giggles and joy out of older audiences as well, but it’s more strictly a kids flick, but there’s nothing wrong with that. This could have easily been a complete corporate sellout and just focus on the Minions doing their shenanigans that you would see during segways in the Despicable Me movies and the Minion shorts on the Blu-Rays.
Fortunately with some equally funny side characters, over the top voice performances, and some creatively silly situations, this can be a fun family outing, assuming you’ve already seen Inside Out. It’s not on par with Despicable Me or Despicable Me 2, but for a movie that should have been dead on arrival, it manages to deliver some silly belly laughs and colorful animation that is sure to turn you and your entire family “Yellow with Bananas”.
But, PS if you want a really smart and unforgettable animated movie for the entire family, I’m sure Inside Out is playing next door.