Minions – (Universal, 2015)
So, what are Minions? The third installment in the Despicable Me franchise hopes to answer that question. The movie begins at the very beginning, with the creation of life on earth. Even as once-celled animals, the Minions are drawn to the biggest, baddest creatures around.
Fast forward to the 1960s, and three Minions are in the USA, headed for Villain-Con, to find the ultimate boss for their tribe.
Here’s the thing: the Minions have evolved into smallish yellow pill-shaped creatures with a language that sounds like gibberish. They’re childlike and cute, with big eyes behind goggle-like glasses. In short, they’re cartoon characters. And now they have their very own movie.
In Despicable Me, the Minions serve Gru, the greatest villain of all time. But Minions happens before Gru comes along and it makes all the difference in this movie. The beginning of Minions seemed to go slow to me. It was all about the Minions’ history, full of little jokes that just didn’t come off as funny.
However, most of the movie concentrates on Bob, Stewart and Kevin, who have been sent from their tribe to find the biggest, baddest villain in the human world, so their tribe will have a larger purpose. Our three Minions quickly attach themselves to the evil Scarlett Overkill, who lives in England and gives them the task of stealing Queen Elizabeth’s Crown. (Scarlett showing Bob a picture of Queen Elizabeth:” Do you know who this is?” Bob:” La Cucaracha?”)
From this point on, the movie becomes unpredictable, outrageous, and much funnier than the slow beginning. In particular Bob, the youngest of the Minions, keeps pouring on the cute and humor factor. Bob is extremely fond of the occasional ba-na-na, (one of the few words we can understand) and seems to think yellow fire hydrants are attractive females. Figure that one out yourself.
During their quest for the Crown, the Minions make several detours, which I won’t divulge here, but let’s just say the British culture is the butt of most of the jokes.
My favorite character was a young Queen Elizabeth, with a cultured accent and stunning overbite that define her speech and appearance. The British are especially funny, drinking tea at every turn and always properly polite. Scarlett Overkill is voiced by Sandra Bullock, and is definitely powerful with her red dress that hosts rocket power, nuclear power, and all sorts of weapons.
Those who are fans of the earlier films will want to watch for younger versions of characters from Despicable Me, and many other jokes that the younger audience probably won’t get. Since this is the ‘60s, Minions is lifted by songs from the Beatles, Animals, Rolling Stones, and others.
For those of us who think characters like the Minions are best suited for Saturday Morning Cartoons (which I understand don’t exist anymore,) the climax of our movie is at least very logical and complete, with our tribe running off to meet its singular fate.
A lot of you will be wondering if smaller children will enjoy this film. I would say yes. Most of the humor is geared for them and while there is some violence, it’s mostly cartoonish and hardly ever suggestive. Adults may find it quite ridiculous, but if you liked the Minions in Despicable Me, you’ll be amused here.
So bring some little ones to see the Minions and you can talk to them about it for years to come. Or at least ‘til Minions 4 comes out.
Minions is rated PG for nothing that I could figure out. Some people swear they heard the Minions using foul language, but really, how would you know? Enjoy.