Following the global box-office success of Despicable Me, attention turns to the breakout stars of the original movies as we get taken on a history lesson showing where the Minions came from – and the journey they go on to reach their ultimate destination.
Directors: Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin
Staring: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, Pierre Coffin
Run Time: 91 Minutes
Release Date: Out Now
As soon as the delightful yellow Minions made their first appearance in Despicable Me, we all knew the merchandise goldmine that Illumination had on their hands. And thus, everything that you could put a Minion face on was made. Including a movie poster. It seems an odd choice for a spin-off focus; characters who have speech that can’t be understood. But in this day and age, the power of marketing and a strong vocal cast is more often than not all you need.
After a strong opening sequence that acts as an introduction to the history and mindset of the creatures, we quickly set in to a plot that – from an adult perspective, at least – requires little thought. In a theme that will take predecence throughout the following 90 minutes, the kids come first. This is not aiming at the same target market that Despicable Me did, something that parents will quickly attest to. The little ‘ens, however, will enjoy every minute. Any drama that exists here will not induce fear and quickly turns back family-friendly fun. There is no real substance to anything, and with no real plot to speak of, things pretty much roll along, taking in pratfalls and physical humour along the way.
The voice cast, all accomplished actors that you feel could do this sort of thing with their eyes closed and attention only 50% on the matter at hand, play their parts well, though this is never about the supporting cast or really even the plot; the Minions are the stars of the show. Regrettably, this film suffers the same way many other features have previously. Namely, giving away the best parts in the trailer. Once the film is over, you realise that the only parts that raised a laugh (from the adult, obviously) were the same scenes you laughed at when your child first showed you the trailer. While some of the antics can be funny, the characters themselves are rather one-dimensional, leaving it a difficult vehicle to get off the ground and invoke any kind of investment.
All in all, it is aimed solely at kids and it is that market that will be wholly satisfied. By the time the predictable series tie-in comes to pass, seemingly wrapping up the Despicable Me franchise for good, it is an overdue conclusion that will likely be met with thankful sighs by parents the world over. And lots of unhappy kids who – bless their naive, innocent souls – want more.