MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Minions” is voiced by Pierre Coffin (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), Sandra Bullock (Gravity, The Proposal), Jon Hamm (Mad Men [TV series], The Town), Michael Keaton (Birdman, Toy Story 3), Allison Janney (The Way Way Back, Juno), Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, Shrek 2), Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Shakespeare in Love), Steve Coogan (Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, The Other Guys), and Steve Carell (The Office [TV series], Foxcatcher). It is directed by Kyle Balda (The Lorax , Banana [short]), and Pierre Coffin. The minions you know and love from “Despicable Me” are the main stars in this new, different adventure. After several years of searching for a master that they won’t end up killing, one minion named Kevin (Coffin) forms a group with fellow minions Stuart (Coffin) and Bob (Coffin) to go to New York City to attend Villain Con so they can find their brethren a master to take commands from. There, they meet Scarlett Overkill (Bullock) and will have to prove to her that they are capable of filling out her commands so they can get the rest of their minion-friends over.
Usually in any comedy there is always a character that strikes as the funniest of the bunch. Everything they do or say really makes the movie worth it, being a form of comic relief and can happen in serious films as well. With the “Despicable Me” franchise, it was always the Minions that got stuck in everyone’s heads. The little, yellow, babbling creatures crept their way into people’s hearts and minds, and Universal has made a big profit off of their merchandising. Because of this, they have decided to make a film based solely around another movie’s comic relief. Can it work? Yes, depending on how workable the comic relief and writing is. But with Minions, that isn’t the case. Because of how their characters are, they really don’t serve as a good main character for a movie. Before I get in-depth on that subject, let me explain what really makes this movie good. The first and foremost is animation. It is stunning. I’ve always enjoyed the animation style of Illumination Entertainment and in this it is no exception. Something I really enjoyed that they instilled is in some shots, it looked like it had shaky cam (shaky camera style), making it seem like someone was actually filming it when it was really an animation. But with an animation movie nowadays that is expected, so I’ve grown rather accustomed to a cartoon movie having stellar animation anyway. The next thing I found good is the voice acting. Voice acting is a hard thing to do, having to bring life to a character using voice rather than facial expression or physical decisions. Everyone did a great job voice acting in this film. And finally, the last pro is that there were a few scenes where I laughed. Granted, it’s not a lot, but they are good scenes that should be mentioned nonetheless. Now, onto the plot itself. I never had high expectations for this film or low ones for that matter. I really didn’t care to see it, but to have a fun experience with family. This film is definitely geared towards little kids and that can be a big issue with family movies. When you have a movie that tries so hard to make kids laugh or be entertained, it loses it’s bearings with the parents or adults who sit there and watch it as a film. Pixar is a great example of what to do with an animated movie: make it so that both the adult and child can get a great experience out of it. Minions is a movie where if you are over their target audience (which is a very small audience) you have to turn your brain off to watch it. There really isn’t a well-thought-out plot to this film. The first twenty minutes consist of a man narrating the Minions origins and how they look for an evil master to be commanded by. It gets old fast and that is why these characters are better used as a comic relief rather than have their own story. I wasn’t bored to say the least, but I wasn’t interested either. It’s more of a movie where you can sit through it, but won’t consider it to be anything extraordinary. I will say that it got better once they actually got to the part where three of the Minions went out to search for a villain, giving way to the main storyline. But it was still all the same. I’m sitting there, watching little yellow creatures talk gibberish that I don’t understand for an hour and a half, hoping to get something out of it when I end up not. I said before that this movie does have some good scenes, thinking my favorite scene is when Kevin and the others were hitchhiking, but there aren’t too many. Off of the storyline itself, let me talk about the movie’s villain: Scarlett Overkill. Scarlett Overkill is not a good villain. There was nothing really bad about her. To me, she was just this woman who wanted to be proper and got other people to do the work for her. I sat there, watching this “villain” complain about how she wanted the Queen’s crown and how the Minions stole it and never gave it to her, when I would rather watch her make a diabolical plan to rule the world. “Despicable Me”‘s Gru wasn’t a good villain either, but that was the point. He tried to be evil, but there was still good inside of him. At least he filled out his evil plans himself. Scarlett Overkill was a sorry excuse for a villain who didn’t do anything until the last minutes of the film (and boy, did I hear enough of her saying “enough” at the end). Overall, this movie is something that only little kids should see. I even asked the kids I went with to see this movie and the average consensus of what they thought was from “it wasn’t that good” to “meh, it was alright.” It’s mindless and should have never been made. It serves up a few laughs and is bearable to watch, but those aren’t good enough reasons to make this movie great to see. FINAL SCORE: 69%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: