Running time: 91 minutes
Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Following the example of The Penguins of Madagascar, Gru’s loyal and adorable companions are now the protagonists of their own movie. The minions are for practically everyone the most unforgettable part about the Despicable Me movies but, while they work amazingly as side characters, can these cute creatures carry their own movie? And most importantly, can they survive without Gru?
After causing the demise of several of their evil masters, three minions, Kevin, Stuart and Bob, leave their exile in search of a new villain to serve. The journey takes them to Villain Con, where they manage to impress the world’s first woman supervillain, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), whose greatest desire is to become the Queen of England and needs the help of the minions to achieve her dream
The movie starts with a narration by Geoffrey Rush about how the minions have existed since the beginning of time and have gone through history always serving the greatest villains of the time, from the T-Rex to Napoleon, and often being the cause of their downfall. This causes them to go into isolation to the Antarctic where they quickly lose spirit without having a master to serve. In 42 B.G (42 years before Gru), Kevin, our alpha minion, decides to venture into the world again to search for a boss. He is accompanied by rebellious Stuart and the adorable little Bob.
These yellow creatures already conquered our hearts in the Despicable Me movies, and these three are able to carry the film without ever speaking a sentence in english as their dialogue consist of random spanish, french and italian words. Their search takes them to Orlando, where Villain Con, a wonderfully realized Comic Con for villains, is taking place. There they meet the meanest villain of all, Scarlet Overkill, and I am so glad they chose to make her evil through and through and not give her some sad back story to make her sympathetic. I loved her arc, from being friendly towards the minions at the beginning and as her plans go awry and she becomes more and more desperate, showing her true colors, always keeping her husband Herb as her soft spot. Jon Hamm is surprisingly hilarious.
With these kind of spin-off films is practically inevitable not to draw a comparison to the originals and though Minions lacks the deep story that the two Despicable Me movies had, it definitely has more laughs in it. The humour walks a fine line between being funny and offensive but does it successfully and I laughed consistently throughout the film. From the opening credits with the minions singing as the Universal logo comes up, to the ending that ties the franchise in a brilliant way.
Most of the criticism I’m seeing with the film comes from it aiming especially towards kids. Unlike Pixar movies, which despite being considered for kids there is a lot in them for adults to enjoy and in the end adults are the ones who will appreciate the themes, Minions‘ target audience is mainly kids. Not that adults will hate it but they certainly won’t have the same appreciation for it. I personally loved it. It’s cute, it could have had a more complex story, but it’s delightfully entertaining.