Directors: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin
Writer: Brian Lynch
Voice Cast: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Allison Janney, Jennifer Saunders, Geoffrey Rush, Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Katy Mixon, Michael Beattie, Hiroyuki Sanada, Dave Rosenbaum, Alex Dowding, Paul Thornley, Tara Strong
Synopsis: Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action and rude humor
6 / 10
- Humor was funny.
- The animation was great
- Voice acting was decent
- The cinematography was great; especially if you can see the film in 3-D
- The story is too predictable
- All the characters are basically generic stereotypes, and none of them feature any engaging personalities that you'd want to follow.
- While the attempt to make the minions relatable was admirable, the reality is they work better as the comic relief supporting characters in a film. Not the main attraction.
The prequel that nobody wanted
At the risk of sounding like an egotistical smart a**, I knew from the very beginning that the "Minions" spin off was probably going to be average at best, in terms of it's quality. If you read my previous reviews of the last two "Despicable Me" films, I made no secret to my readers pointing out how overrated that franchise was. Everything from citing how tragically predictably cliched it was, to how mediocre it was in terms of it's overall story telling. Sure, the characters were likable, and funny. However, the previous films were essentially middle of the road border line decent family comedies at best.
Don't get me wrong. I would never say any of the "Despicable Me" movies were bad, but to say they're great is kind of insulting to vastly superior animated films that deserve that kind of praise like "Tale of Princess Kaguya" or "Inside Out", for instance. And if you watch the previous films, the Minions were never interesting characters. Sure, they were always good for a laugh or two, but what else can you really say about them?
They had no distinct personalities that really made you want to follow an entire movie about them. You knew that since they didn't talk, in the previous movies, that the majority of their spin off was probably going to be about them doing stupid s***, while crap happens around them. And guess what happens? The film coincidentally ends up being about the minions doing stupid s***, while all this spontaneous crap happens around them. Big shock.
I honestly don't know what most film critics were expecting from this movie, but I wasn't that surprised how this movie turned out. No offense to the minions, who were always the funniest characters in the "Despicable Me" franchise. However, the truth of the matter is they can only work as supporting characters. Their personalities in the previous films was them essentially being dumb asses doing stupid crap for shits and giggles.
In this movie, they try to give them more distinct personalities for us to follow, but it doesn't work. Instead of using all the minions, they only use three in this movie. One of them is the brains. The other is the rebel, and the other is the fat stupid one. Sadly, these types of personalities were cliched even back in the 80's, when I was still a freaking kid. Therefore, Universal's attempt to make the minions relatable failed because none of their personalities were that engaging.
Sure, the movie was funny. I'll give it that, and I love how fast pace and smooth the CGI animation was; especially in 3-D format. But apart from the humor and spectacular animation, there's really not much else to this movie.
If you've seen the trailers already, then you already know story. The minions have existed since the dawn of time. Always following the biggest villain of each era from the T-Rex to Napoleon, and even Count Dracula himself. However, they find themselves stuck without a leader to follow for the first time in ages, which leads to three of them volunteering to seek one out for the good of the tribe. Inevitably, this leads them to the infamous, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), who's arguably one of the biggest baddies of the sixties, and coincidentally she happens to be looking for a new batch of henchmen to do her bidding.
You'd think with a setup like this that they'd be perfect for each other, but nope. Things happen. The minions somehow screw things up with their shenanigans. Scarlet gets pissed, and tries to kill them. Enter epic fight scene. Introduce Gru in the final act. The end. It's pretty cut and dry for the most part. Not saying simplified stories can't be great. After all, "The Good Dinosaur" was good; in spite of being predictable.
However, the thing that makes "The Good Dinosaur" a great movie isn't so much the story itself, but the characters they have us follow. They're not generic stereotypical characters, and even though their individual story arcs were predictable, you could still tell there was a lot of heart put into them.
Whereas with something like "Minions", it's fairly obvious this entire story was put together to get a few bucks, You have some characters enter into the film that you think are going to play pivotal roles, but they disappear throughout most of the film later on. Apart from the minions themselves, most of the characters are basically generic stereotypes.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying "Minions" is a horrible movie, but I will say that it's mediocre at best. Overall, I'd say it's worth checking out on Netflix if you're yearning for a few cheap laughs, but if it were still playing in theaters, then I'd say it's not worth it. The story is too lame, and the characters aren't really engaging enough to waste your money checking it out in theaters.
© 2016 Steven Daniels