Standing Room Only

Minions - A Spoiler-free Review

Jul 12, 2015

# | Rica Wiersema

When it comes to movies, there are heroes and there are villains, and we naturally root for the heroes. But, in Minions, the third film in the Despicable Me franchise, we root for some rather unlikely heroes (or are they unlikely villains?). Well, one thing is clear, they are henchmen just trying to follow orders.

The first two Despicable Me films focus on the exploits of Gru, a modern super-villain played by Steve Carell, who suddenly finds himself adjusting to the new role of family man. But the latest installment in the series focuses on his bright yellow, babbling stooges that have been working in the background to make his evil plots succeed. They are Minions… and, as it turns out, they haven’t always served under Gru.

According to the narrator, voiced by Geoffrey Rush, the Minions have been around since the beginning of time, and their goal is to serve the planet’s biggest, baddest Boss. Unfortunately, their “good” intentions don’t always mix well with the evil plans of their nefarious masters. After centuries of mistakes that have led to the destruction of each Boss, from the T-Rex to Dracula, the Minions try to make a life for themselves without a master. But, after a while they come to feel directionless and unfulfilled. That’s when three of them – Kevin, Stuart, and Bob – set out to find a new Boss.

The quest takes the Minions all around the world, from New York to Orlando to London, and they try to ingratiate themselves to the first female super-villain that the criminal underworld has ever seen, Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock). But to prove their loyalty to her, they must first steal the royal crown from Queen Elizabeth! The result is a tale filled with more fun and fluff than a pack of Twinkies®.

For all their dedication to the craft of villainy, Kevin and his friends are loyal and have hearts of gold that always shine through in the face of adversity. They go to ridiculous lengths for one another, and for whichever master they’re attempting to please. The ensuing adventure is chock-full of hilarious criminals, creative gadgets, and unexpected friends.

One of the drawbacks of this adventure is that the Minions only speak gibberish. Their language is a hodgepodge of English, Spanish, French, and more. The minions are never able to communicate much beyond basic facial expressions. As a result, their babbling can get tiring after a while. Fortunately, they’re surrounded by plenty of English-speaking supporting characters like Herb (Jon Hamm) and Tina (Katy Mixon) that provide witty dialogue and personality.

Minions is a solid backstory to a highly-popular animated series. It is a bit more crass than its predecessors. There’s a fair amount of bathroom humor, from flashes of nudity to some abrupt deaths, that aren’t ideally suited for kids. But, others may enjoy Minions for its multiple cultural references, celebrity cameos, and satirical subtext.

Category: film

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