The first two Despicable Me movies do have an interesting central character in the form of the supervillain Gru. But no matter how much you like that character, there is another set of characters that many people will remember: Gru's Minions. Those short yellow pill-shaped creatures who proudly assist Gru in any way possible are so clumsy and playful that you cannot help but laugh, or at least smile. I won't be surprised if there are people who watch Despicable Me just for the Minions. And certainly it is not surprising that the Minions are featured in their own spinoff prequel in 2015. If a secondary character ends up being more fascinating than the primary character, why not give the former some extra spotlight?
The beginning of the movie Minions is funny, although the trailer for the movie gives it all away so that you may just end up smiling, not laughing, during the start of the movie. Still, it sets the stage for the plot. The Minions are subservient beings who thrive on serving a master, particularly one who is evil and powerful. If they don't serve anyone, they get depressed and feel their lives getting stagnant. Hence, three Minions named Kevin, Stuart, and Bob go on a journey to find a new villainous master.
The trio finds its way to New York City in the year 1968 and ultimately discover the world's first female supervillain, named Scarlet Overkill (played by Sandra Bullock). She wishes to have some new henchmen working for her and decides to put all aspiring henchmen to the test. Anyone who wants the job must prove it by outwitting her in a little game. To her surprise, though not necessary to us, the three little Minions get the job as Scarlet's minions.
That's all I'm going to say about the plot. In fact, I can easily describe the movie in one word: hyperactive. The story moves as a fast pace, as do the jokes, because clearly the target audience consists of kids, particularly hyperactive ones. Does the movie appeal to adults? Well, it depends on the adult. If you're a sophisticated grownup who doesn't like mindless movies, skip this one. Otherwise, if you're a grownup with an inner child, you might like this one, though not necessarily more than the hyperactive kids who will laugh the loudest.
Taking all of this into account, Minions is an average movie that is funny enough to deserve marginal approval from me. I could dismiss this movie as a bad movie because it doesn't appeal much for many adults, but that would be unfair to the kids who I think could enjoy it. Yes, adults need to be entertained as well, but when you have a kids movie, you have to at least try to put yourself in a kid's shoes and look at the movie partly from a kid's perspective and partly from yours. This is why I am giving Minions a 6/10 rating, one step below the 7/10 I gave for Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, which Gru should be pleased to know. (He should also be assured that when I eventually watch Despicable Me 3, I'll be looking for him, not just his Minions.)
Anthony's Rating: 6/10
(Review originally published at http://www.anthonysfilmreview.com/Film/M/Minions.htm)