Wednesday 1 July 2015

Today's Review: Minions

Minions are everywhere, absolutely everywhere. I don't think I've seen a movie so heavily marketed in my entire life, there was stuff coming out to promote this movie a year ago, and it's certainly not going to let up anytime soon. I don't blame them though, because there are a lot of people out there who are crazy for Minions, including fully grown adults, so there's a lot of money to be made. Myself, I don't get the obsession all that much. Sure, they're cute little guys, but I'm not going to deck myself out exclusively in Minions clothing, eating Minions branded food and washing myself with Minions toiletries. But I did go and see the Minions movie, because I can't rightfully form an opinion about it otherwise.

Minions is, funnily enough, about Minions. Specifically, three Minions, Kevin, Stuart and Bob. It's funny when outlandish creatures have simple human names, har har. Anyways, the Minions are established as an odd tribe of creatures who are seemingly immortal, alive since the first single cell organisms were swimming in the primordial ooze, and genetically programmed to pursue a life of servitude to an evil entity. After several million years of screwing things up for their evil overlords, the Minions are aimless, looking for the next villain to serve. Thankfully, Kevin, Stuart and Bob step up to go out and find a new boss, and conveniently emerge in the 60s during a time where a super villain convention is a thing. There, they hope to find the world's greatest villain, Scarlett Overkill, and once again find purpose in their messed up lives.

You probably already knew all that, because it was outlined in the several overlong trailers that have been playing everywhere for months. In fact, it took a good twenty minutes for me to see a plot point that I hadn't already seen. The story is pretty thin on the ground, and to be honest takes some ridiculous turns to provide some baffling set pieces for Minion madness. It's easy enough to follow, but it's clear plot is pushed out of the way when there's inane babbling about bananas to listen to.

Minions are pretty easy to figure out. They are loyal to their master, and they love bananas. These traits are stretched to their limit in this movie, and while the three main guys have some clear personalities, they mainly wander around blindly trusting an inherently evil person, and being generally clumsy in order to provide some over the top slapstick humour. The rest of the characters aren't all the great either. Scarlett Overkill is alright, and Sandra Bullock lends a good enough performance, but there's no one else that particularly stands out. It seems like characterisation isn't all that important when the Minions are there to say random foreign words and fly around like lunatics.

Yes, the "action" sequences are pretty well put together. This was never going to be a deep, meaningful movie when the protagonists don't speak a proper language, so it looks like every effort has gone into creating the chaotic mayhem that the Minions find themselves in. Despite their elaborate misadventures in the Despicable Me series, this movie outdoes them all, with explosions, crumbling buildings and wayward gadgets being crammed in to every minute that the dull plot isn't being carried forward. In this way, it's pretty entertaining, and the visuals are spot on, but it's clear Minions is a pretty big cash in. It wasn't the worst kids movie I've seen, but there's not much in here that makes me want to see it again. There's only so many times I can hear the word "banana".

My rating: 2/5

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