If you actively dislike the creatures known as minions you are probably a horrible person, void of any joy. A lawyer or an insurance broker perhaps?
If you dislike the film called Minions on the other hand then you are probably a perfectly rational and balanced individual.
Minions certainly has its share of funny moments but many of these you would have seen in the trailer. The film suffers from one glaring error though: the word minion. You see, if you take the boss away then you no longer have a minion do you, you have a… err… maxion?! I don’t know, but the point is that a minion needs a leader.
In fact this is the whole concept of the film. It starts off with a great little sequence of minions evolving and blindly following the strongest predator throughout the annals of time: the T-Rex, the first man, then Egyptian pharoahs, Dracula and Napoleon. Each time the minions inadvertantly being their downfall.
Time passes and eventually 3 minions go in search of a new evil leader. The common theme here and the reason why the minions are funny is because of a strong lead character to rif off. It’s exactly this juxtaposition of superiority being thwarted by innocence and clumsiness that makes the minions adorable, charming and funny.
So remove the minions’ antipode and you are left with a mild laxative: fine in small doses but a lot shitter in larger amounts!
Thankfully the first of these minion only scene ends quick enough to introduce Scarlett Overkill; the ultimate super-villain who adopts our three minions and tasks them with stealing the crown jewels from the queen of England. Scarlett Overkill is voiced by Sandra Bullock and this could not be a finger pairing. Bullock’s voice perfectly suits both the mothering side of the bipolar Scarlett Overkill as well as her obsessive desire for power and glory.
Sandra Bullock isn’t the best thing in the film though. If you look outside of the main action in a frame you will be amazed at the sheer attention to detail that the designers and animators have put into each frame whether it be funny signs, pictures or background characters. There are a handful of stereotypical characters in the film but these too are beautifully imagined. It’s thanks to this impeccable attention to detail that these stereotypes also become funny such as the British police driving whilst pouring tea which demonstrate some perfectly imagined stereotypes.
Eventually Scarlett Overkill turns on the minions leaving them with only one option: stop her. Even the terrific attention to detail cannot alleviate the fact that there is too much screen time for the minions. The more they were left to be their own ruler the less I cared as the film went on.
If this film was the third in the Despicable Me series that made minions famous it could have been the best one of the franchise as it does some things very well but without a leading character to push forward the plot and provide context to the minions it’s not great but hey; at least it’s not gru-ling to watch either.
- Attention to detail
- Scarlett Overkill
- Minions with a ruler
- Minions without a ruler
- Too much minion time
- The film’s novelty wears off by the end of the film