by E. Ladd
The Minions are the small, yellow, pill-shaped, one or two eyed, denim overall clad, unintelligible henchmen of Gru from 2010’s Despicable Me and 2013’s Despicable Me 2. And now they have their own film, which serves as a prequel to the other two. Directed by Pierre Coffin (of the first two Despicables) and Kyle Balda, this 3D computer-animated comedy features the voice talents of Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, and Geoffrey Rush, and is aptly titled Minions.
The story focuses on the history of the Minions, who have been around since the dawn of time and have always been on the hunt for the perfect and most despicable evil boss to follow. From a Tyrannosaurus Rex of the Cretaceous period to Napoleon of the 19th century, they never seem to find the right one. After years of hiding away in a cave and becoming increasingly more and more disheartened, one bright Minion, Kevin, decides to head out on an expedition to find a new boss. Along for the journey are fellow Minions Stuart and Bob. From the United States (after discovering the existence of the world’s first female super villain Scarlet Overkill, who’s played by Bullock) to England and around the world, the film chronicles their many misadventures.
This is definitely a kid’s film: lively, full of slapstick comedy, eye-popping colors, gadgets and non-stop action. The Minions speak in a goofy gibberish language, incorporating a lot of grunts and silly noises and smatterings of actual languages, including French, Spanish, English, and a variety of nonsense words. Like a Three Stooges-esque trio, the three main characters get themselves into all sorts of mishaps along the way. It’s fun for adults, too, with loads of hidden jokes and references. It also has a great soundtrack because it’s set in 1968 and the music reflects the time period. Especially amusing to me was one scene in the Tower of London where three otherwise stern English guardsmen are hypnotized into performing a musical number from Hair, which I’m pretty sure will fly right over the heads of most kids. It’s silly, it’s funny, the Minions are adorable imbeciles and the kids at my screening absolutely loved it.
Watch the trailer for Minions
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