Minions (2015)

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda

Contains Spoilers.

The minions from Despicable Me were hilarious in their adorable, slapstick henchmen capacity, providing comic relief, background hilarity, and just a dash of emotion. They were a fantastic inclusion in a movie that was both funny and touching. The best part about the odd, yellow characters is that their inclusion was limited to exactly the right amount of screen time.

The decision to make a movie about the minions probably made sense at the time. They're cute, funny, and kids love them. In small doses, everyone loves them. But that's the key: small doses. Any comedy bit gets old when it gets overused, and that's what happens in Minions.

The film chronicles the minions' long history as servants to big, bad bosses, despite their exuberance and chronic happiness. They can trace their evolution and servitude all the way back to being single-celled organisms, a near-hive mentality. They served big fish, dinosaurs, cavemen, historical figures, but soon they were alone and seemingly content to leave their lives in an ice cave. Time passed and the minions have grown listless, on the edge of death. But one of them, Kevin, has a plan. He enlists help from two others and sets off on a journey to find his brethren a boss, the best, bad boss ever.

They float all the way to New York, soon finding themselves proper clothes: their familiar overalls. Their first night in New York, the find out about an upcoming event where they can look for a boss: Villaincon. So they make their way to Villaincon and through a mixture of luck and... well, mostly just luck... they find themselves in the service of the infamous Scarlet Overkill. The story proceeds in a straightforward, linear fashion, with plot points connected, again, mostly by luck. Also coincidence, which is a fancier word for luck. That being said, the story and plot connections end up being very much a Three Stooges movie for children. Everything about this paints it as nothing but a mediocre children's movie, as if they listed everything that young kids love and put them into a movie: gibberish, nonsensical stories, funny clothes, bright colors, fun and weird characters, and random shit. They did something similar with the Despicables, except that with Gru's story(ies) they provided huge character development and a cohesive story with growth and change.

Minions ends up not so much as a story, but more like an extended expositional prequel to Despicable Me. Actually, that's exactly what it is. And the problem with that isn't so much that it's a bad movie, but more that it's not good at all. There were so many good things about Gru's tale, from characters that you actually care about to a cohesive story with depth and motivation, that Illumination Entertainment must be hard pressed to follow up. Naturally, in our massively capitalist economy, they'll find a way. Unfortunately, this wasn't the right way.

Keep in mind, watching this movie as a 23-year-old man with hopes to start a family within the next 10 years, this may not have been the key audience for Minions. The correct demographic here is families, or at least the children. There are a few jokes thrown in for the parents, like a reference to The Beatles, but far and away this is simplistic child bait. Yes, the minions are cute, and the animation is beautiful, and a lot of people will be copying their random blend of gibberish and real languages. But this below-average, animated comedy is just the newest in a long line of pretty kids' movies.

Soon enough there'll be a newer film with great animation, and hopefully it'll be better. As far as Minions is concerned, unless you're still in your teens or earlier, or you're a little slow, then this unfortunately feature-length character gimmick will get annoying after the first 10 minutes and doesn't actually explain anything. It's just a series of random crap and slapstick humor prior to the minions joining Gru. Despicable Me was good as a standalone movie, and its sequel was good for a sequel, but Hollywood should've left well enough alone with this one.

 
  • Acting – 6 / 10
  • Story – 2 / 10
  • Cinematography – 5 / 10
  • Soundtrack – 5 / 10
  • Entertainment Factor – 17 / 30
  • Animation/Comedy – 12 / 20
  • Other – 0 / 10

TL;DR: Minions is a kid's movie. If you're an adult, drunk, high, or stupid then there could be a few laughs in there for you, but otherwise, I'll emphasize that this is a kid's movie. I was bored to tears but chuckled a few times throughout. The animation is superb, with great-looking characters, but that isn't enough for an animated, family movie anymore. For adults, there's nothing but a few pop culture jokes; if you're a parent, then you'll be glad to know your child is having a blast but their reversion to gibberish afterwards will end you.

 

Grade F = 47 / 100