Oh, so cute! Yet even more minions would’ve served Minions better.
I’m not going to get too bogged down with analyzing the storyline or characters here (other than the Minions). The story actually well suits a feature-length treatment for these until-now side characters: After many millennia searching and serving (and inevitably losing) the biggest and baddest bosses they could find, three Minions leave their “colony” to find a new big bad boss. Honestly, I could watch 90 minutes of these adorable yellow pill-shaped creatures reading to each other in a classroom. With a language consisting of 50% Italian, 40% gibberish, and 10% random sounds, unique personalities befitting each standardly-named individual, and an unparalleled sense of loyalty, these little guys are too cute to dislike.
Minions feeds off of the adorable energy and hilarity the minions produced when they first appeared in Despicable Me in 2010. It’s when the film tries to fill in the story gaps with dull characters (by comparison) or pop culture references out of left field that the film stumbles, but it doesn’t stumble much. Minions delivers a large dose of cutesy fun, and that’s really all it aimed for in the first place. In order to fill a feature-length film, the minion language was slightly tweaked (aka – more obvious Italian) to be a little bit more understandable than in the Despicable Me films. After all, they are our central characters and we need to know what they’re saying and doing. The story primarily takes place in London in 1968 (the really best parts of the film happen before Kevin, Stuart, and Bob arrive in London), so there are lots of stereotypical songs and gags particular to the British Invasion of the mid 1960s. There’s one hilarious running tea gag, but otherwise, the only reason why the story decided to take place during this time and in England is due to the payoff at the end.
Sandra Bullock voices the first female super villain, Scarlet Overkill, who woos the Minions with her ultimate evil boss persona into doing her bidding. Her character may not be the most engaging of the Despicable Me franchise, but there’s a funny sequence in which she goes through her life story, and it’s also obvious to the audience that Sandra had a absolute blast doing it. Again, what Minions really boils down to is whether or not you liked the clumsy little henchmen in the first place. If you were/are a huge fan, like my father, then Minions won’t disappoint. If you weren’t really into them before, seeing a lot more of them isn’t gonna change your mind. Or, as Stuart would say, “Oh! hello, papaguena! Tu le bella comme le papaya.” We agree.
Minions comes out today in Bay Area theaters.