Wednesday, July 15, 2015

[Review] Minions

Despicable Me is one of the more surprisingly heartwarming animated flicks of the past five years, and its sequel Despicable Me 2 isn't great but it's serviceable. Within those films, the little yellow things called Minions became fan favorites. So of course they got a spin-off prequel. The Minions are kind of cute and all, but they never seemed like enough to carry their own film, and that happens to be the case.

Opening with nature documentary-esque narration, we learn that the broken gibberish/Spanish/French-speaking Minions have been around for millions of years and they come from the ocean (I would've assumed space). They have one main goal: Serve the most despicable master possible. Three main Minions (Kevin, Bob, and Stuart) emerge as the main focus when they journey to New York City to attend 'Villain-Con' with hopes to serve Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock), the ruler of all villains.

The story feels stretched even over its brief 85 minutes, and it probably would've worked better as a short piece before one of the Despicable Me films. The problem is that there's nothing really to differentiate the three main characters from each other, and they're already one-dimensional the way it is. I know that sort of comes with the territory here, but it's still a flaw. And the film just doesn't possess the warmth, depth, and full-bodied narrative of Despicable Me.

The good news is that it's still very watchable, and people (especially kids) seem to love these things. The Minions are very squeezable and their voices do sound funny, even though their connotations are a bit questionable and awkward. Their feature-length is an energy shot of rambunctious slapstick and light entertainment, but not much more than that.