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Dan's Review: "Minions" worth a few chuckles

Jul 10, 2015 04:00PM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Minions - © 2015 - Universal Pictures

Minions (Universal)

Rated PG for action and rude humor.

Starring (voices of) Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Geoffrey Rush, Jennifer Saunders, Hiroyuki Sanada, Steve Carell.

Written by Brian Lynch.

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda.

GRADE: B-

REVIEW:

Sidekicks are very important. They provide support for your main characters, offer a little comic relief, and are the metaphorical mortar that keeps a good story flowing. Where would Harry Potter be with Ron and Hermione? The Lone Ranger without Tonto? In the Despicable Me franchise, Gru relies on his minions for support, but the good folks at Universal and Illumination Entertainment thought it was high time those funny little yellow guys got their own time in the sun, so we get Minions in theaters this week.

The Minions story begins at the dawn of time, as the tribe of little yellow dudes searches for the perfect evil boss to support. After messing things up for Napoleon, the minions take refuge in an ice cave where they live out a few centuries in isolation. Bored with the drudgery of cave life, one of the taller minions named Kevin recruits Bob and Stuart  (all minions are voiced by the film’s co-director Pierre Coffin) to embark on a search for new evil master. Their journey begins in 1968, and takes them to New York City, where they learn about a secret “Villain-Con” in Orlando. The minions hitch a ride with a family of villains headed by Walter and Madge Nelson (Michael Keaton and Allison Janney) all the way to Florida, where they earn the favor of super villain Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock) and her husband Herb (John Hamm).

Scarlett entices the minions to steal the crown of Queen Elizabeth (Jennifer Saunders), but Bob unwittingly becomes king when pulls the mythical sword from the stone (from the King Arthur legend). Scarlett spends the rest of the story exacting revenge on the minions, whose unintentional techniques eventually get the best of her.

Minions is worth a few laughs, but not enough to support a feature length film. You can only take so much “minionese” gibberish, which resembles some sort of Spanish/Italian/Pig Latin mash up. It’s cute when they’re supporting a strong character like Gru, but after 90 minutes of babbling with very little actual, understandable dialogue, you get a little “minion fatigue.”

A minions origin story might have been a little more cohesive if it had centered on their relationship with Gru, but the movie ended up being more like a string of minion gags, complete with potty humor and silly pranks.

Even with its flaws, most little kids will love Minions, but it’s barely chuckle-worthy for parents.

Minons Trailer

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