Minions

Minions“Doesn’t it feel so good to be bad?”

This 91-minute animated comedy adventure is a spin-off of the popular Despicable Me film series, which began in 2010. This series’ success represents the only reason these yellow-colored, capsule-shaped creatures (a.k.a. bald, jaundiced children) who talk a Spanish-French gibberish language get their own movie.

The main section of this film’s story takes place in Orlando, New York and London in 1968 (42 years B.G (Before Gru, who is again voiced by Steve Carell) and leads audiences through minimal character development or substance in this funny, entertaining franchise spin-off. The Minions get to rewrite several historical moments with a funny spin, which establishes a fun, stress-free comic tone except for a few scary villain appearances.

All 899 minions seek the most despicable of masters. The main character Minion trio are led by Kevin, Bob, and Stuart who scout to other lands to seek another master where they encounter to Scarlet Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock, and her husband Herb, voiced by Jon Hamm who provides the Minions with some unique gear.

Scarlet sustains the physical gags and comic action as her only character justification/redemption that filmmakers offer audiences for Scarlett’s evil plan is “everybody loves a princess.” Directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin, Minions provides some minimal origin Minion background with special appearances for familiar characters.

The actions definitely drive the story as audiences get paper-thin backgrounds on the characters voiced by talented actors like Geoffrey Rush (Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean) who narrates the film and informs audiences the Minions have been here “far longer than we have”.

Allison Janney and Michael Keaton voice the Nelson family parents who have a unique start with their kid filled clan, but do not amount too much more than cheerleaders for the Minions. Jennifer Sanders (Absolutely Fabulous TV series) voices the Queen who really does not need a background and fits in well to the situational plot.

Young audiences have enough of a plot to follow while older audiences basically get “How the Minions Met [fill in the villain name]”. I was expecting more laughs, especially from Hamm, but was reasonable satisfied as the kids roared in their seats.

The music increases the entertainment value to a decent level. Series’ regular Pharrell is definitely “Happy” he gets to release another hit song for this series, titled “Minions”. Filmmakers enhance obvious elements like the opening Universal title sequence and use familiar musical themes. Filmmakers get too much mileage from stereotyped jokes (e.g. Londoners drinking tea) while the visual graphics are top-notch.

The 91-minute Minions comes recommended with a few reservations (**1/2 out of four stars) and is rated PG for action and rude humor including an action that initially seems inappropriate. Just a hair above an exercise in total mayhem though the laughs and entertainment value save the film.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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