Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Geoffrey Rush, Steve Carell
Rated: PG (action and rude humor)
Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.
By Cole Schneider
An optimist might say that movies like “Minions” exist to remind us just how great movies like last month’s “Inside Out” are. A pessimist might wonder how a movie this lazy ever got approval from its studio. A true cynic might go so far as accusing the studio of caring absolutely nothing about the quality of the film and making it only as a vehicle for merchandise sales. Movies like “Minions” turn me into a true cynic.
I spent most of the film pondering some big metaphysical ideas like, ‘where are the girl minions and how do they procreate without them?’ or more often, ‘how does a benevolent God allow a movie like this to exist?’ The film is a prequel to the 2010 hit “Despicable Me” and it begins in prehistory. Moving quickly to 1968 New York, the first act of the film is neither riveting nor repulsive. In other words, it’s the best part of the movie. Once the actual narrative strain begins it gets boring really fast.
With lead characters whose anarchic humor quickly tire and become relentlessly annoying, it’s very difficult to imagine a team of people actually trying to make “Minions”. There are no traces of effort anywhere in the script. Most problematic is neither the (lacking) story nor the (lacking) characters, but rather the (lacking) humor.
It’s the same joke over and over and by the end we’re taking every painfully failed joke as a sign of the Apocalypse. “Minions” will test both kid-movie’s box-office records and your patience.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
By Matt Greene
Are we in the midst of a terrible new trend? In 2014, Penguins of Madagascar provided a funny, if generic, spin-off of the popular Madagascar films, which focused on the comic relief side-penguins. This year, there’s Minions, which is similar to Penguins on the surface, but with none of the decent humor or narrative sense. It could’ve been mindlessly entertaining, but full of clichéd and unfunny jokes, it’s instead annoyingly tedious. It’s honestly astonishing how something so obnoxious can also be so boring, and feel like it would never end.
The minions from Despicable Me are inarguably the best aspect of the uber-popular franchise. However, sometimes a decent side-item isn’t enough to replace an entire meal. There’s not a single character to invest in here, as we barely get to know the new characters, and the minions have no discernible, individual personalities. Not that these things are absolute necessities for kids entertainment; just provide more than a dull story and played-out comedy to keep people from focusing on the lack of logic anywhere (i.e. why is no one in this very real 1960s setting wondering who these little yellow dudes are?). Even the jokes and surprises failed as they were forced on us through the ever-ubiquitous marketing campaign.
Honestly, none of this really matters; if you’re a parent, you will be (or already were) inevitably dragged to this. That’s a shame, since I think kids and families deserve better than clichéd story beats, bright colors, 3D tricks, and the basest of humor (farts, pain, underwear). For a fully entertaining family-movie night, just give Inside Out a (second) look.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Stars