Saturday, July 18, 2015

Film Review: Minions

My favorite parts of the Despicable Me were the Minions.  They were funny and overwhelmingingly adorable.  These gibberish-talking mash between Umpa-loompas and Twinkies have a huge following.  So it was no shock that they decided to make a movie staring these wonderfully silly creatures.

The result fine and funny, but nothing terribly special.

The story revolves around these creatures who are predisposed to serve the most evil person they can find. But their overwhelming incompetence always brings ruin to the person they are serving.  At the beginning of the main story, the Minions had been living for years in a frozen cave without anyone to serve.  Without any meaning in their lives, they begin to languish.  So one of the Minions, a bright one named Kevin decides to search out in the world for a new boss.  He takes with him an adorable sidekick of Bob and the rock-n-roll troublemaker Stuart.  If you have trouble keeping these Minions distinct use the below conversion:

Stuart =Alvin
Kevin =Simon
Bob =Theadore

They come to 1960's New York and go on a big city adventure that eventually takes them into the thrall of the world's greatest villain Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock).  The rest involves silly animated hijinks.

Minions is a perfectly enjoyable film.  I was never bored and I smiled the entire time.  There were even a few moments of nice laughs.  The power of Minions is that the characters are completely and overwhelmingly endearing.  You just want to grab them and hug them, even when they screw up.

But beyond that, there is nothing incredibly special.  When compare to the work of PIXAR and Disney in this medium, Minions could have done a great deal more.  There was such an opportunity to do some really inventive slapstick reminiscent of Chaplin and Keaton, but that never materialized.  The jokes never reach hysteria and the plot never becomes in any way transcendent.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  Children will love this movie.  It may be a little too much for very young children.  There are a few comical deaths that still might be a bit much.

This movie was an opportunity to let the Minions shine.

But it would seem they work best as supporting characters.

3 out of 5 stars.

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