A lot of people will argue that the Minions were the best aspect of both Despicable Me movies. They were definitely a highlight and their increased inclusion in the second movie helped but as you watch their solo-outing, you soon realise how important the other ingredients in the Despicable Me movies are – likeable human characters and a decent story.
How much you enjoy the Minions will depend entirely on whether you think a good story is important for a movie. It seems like a silly question but if the story is used like it is in the Minion movie, to loosely hang sketches and situations for our characters to get themselves involved in, you soon realise that maybe you can forgo a good story if the film is entertaining enough without it.
Minions is entertaining. There are some very funny moments. The opening sequence which traces the history of the Minions is very well done considering how much time it quickly covers (it was just a shame they used all this footage in the trailer for the movie) and the scenes inside Buckingham Palace highlight how good the Minion characters really are. The issue is, you have to get them into these funny situations in plausible ways.
The film does a fairly decent job of this but it is to the detriment of the overall story which is very flimsy and doesn’t always make much sense. It doesn’t help that sometimes the sketches and situations the Minions have found themselves in are not always that funny. It takes more than just a little bit of slapstick or a funny way to speak to make the movie work.
It means that the human characters the Minions interact with are very important too and these are hit and miss. They don’t have the cute, lovable children to play-off and Sandra Bullocks villainous Scarlett Overkill just isn’t that funny. The real success is Jon Hamm, who plays the inventor, Herb Overkill, brilliantly, making him one of the better characters in the film.
It is all about the Minions themselves though and as you’d expect, they can hold their own. Kevin is the brave leader, Stuart the clueless rebel and Bob the real star of the film, being the cutest, stupidest but overall sweetest part of the movie. It won’t surprise me when he becomes a further stand-out character like the Minions themselves have in the first place.
These three characters aren’t quite enough to properly hang the film on and in places the lack of any real coherent direction or meaningful story begins to show. You can forget it for brief moments as the characters find themselves in very funny situations but it’s never quite enough and its most telling with the bizarre finale which comes out of nowhere.
Overall, Minions is a decent attempt to develop the epitome of support characters. It forgoes a solid story and instead concentrates purely on the different situations they can throw the lovable little yellow creatures into, with mixed results. The three main Minions make the movie very watchable, with Bob a stand-out, but it is let down by it over-reliance on Sandra Bullocks Scarlett Overkill, who just doesn’t add enough to be important.
Rating – 3
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