My first animated movie review will be about Minions, which came out a little over a year ago. I was aware of the Minion phenomenon that was occurring (and still is relatively popular) as a result of the Despicable Me films (which were pretty enjoyable in their own right, though, again, seemed more geared towards kids), although it seemed to be mostly focused towards little kids (of which I am not). You could definitely tell by the amount of minion-themed toys, keychains, backpacks, even purses. This was definitely a thing – but was the movie good enough to support this phenomenon?
Warning, some spoilers to follow.
Minions explores the origins of the Minions before they met Gru, the protagonist of the Despicable Me movies. The Minions, as a species, want only one thing: to follow and serve the most evil villain on earth. They spend thousands of years toward this goal, often finding a successful bad guy, only to fail them and having to find a new one.
However, after a while, they decide to find refuge after their latest failure with Napoleon Bonaparte and survive in icy caverns without a master for over a century. It’s great, for a while, until they lose their purpose for living. So three of the Minions – Kevin, Stuart, and Bob (great names) – decide to find the finest evildoer for the rest of their species to follow.
What follows are Kevin (the smart one), Stuart (the stylish slacker), and Bob (the little kid of the group) as they explore the world and have multiple mishaps before finally meeting their chosen villain to serve: Scarlet Overkill, considered the finest villain of the 60s – smart, diabolical, and crazy – who is voiced fairly well by Sandra Bullock. For the sake of not spoiling the ending, they end up having many more misadventures before the movie ends.
Story-wise, the plot is pretty decent. The origin story for the Minions provides answers for what they were doing pre-Despicable Me and is also allowed to be as silly as the creators wish, given Despicable Me‘s already more fantastic setting. However, the ending, plot-wise, is pretty weak, following the kind of movies wherein it seems like characters are in inescapable situations where they must have definitely died, but somehow defy death anyway, and no answers are given as to how or why, which is disappointing, but understandable given the film was mostly made for kids – they don’t really need such answers.
Joke-wise, there is a lot of fun throughout. The hijinks are exciting and most of the jokes hit their mark, barring a weird dance segment, and they mostly make sense in terms of the story despite the silliness of it all. The types of jokes presented are a large part of how this movie is successful (to read more on that, click here: https://movieblogcmc.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/how-minions-succeeds-as-a-film/).
Overall, Minions is a movie that definitely works. I came in expecting a movie mostly focused towards children, and for the most part, it was – but the slapstick and the jokes still work, surprisingly, and the movie is still relatively enjoyable for an older audience. It is also pretty good on its own – you don’t need to watch the Despicable Me movies to really enjoy this film, and I would definitely recommend people to watch this at least once, especially the kids.