Sunday, May 8, 2016

Minions (2015) - 5 stars out of 10

Minions (2015) - 5 stars out of 10

“Minions” is precisely what we thought it would be.  This spin-off of the “Despicable Me” franchise creates laugh out loud comedic moments with its sight gags but lacks the heart and compelling story of the original.  I will be the first to admit that it is nothing short of amazing that these writers were able to create an entire movie with three main characters that speak a combination of gibberish, Spanish, and… Pig Latin?  They are paired with a few characters throughout the film whose comprehensible dialogue helps to advance the plot, but the majority of the story progresses through the visual cues of the Minions.  Still, the story is very superficial.  The ending of “Despicable Me” had me in tears but this one is just a long string of sight gags that, funny as they may be, never reach us on an emotional level.  The opening sequence of the Minions throughout history is genius and the interpretation of 1960’s Queen Elizabeth II is hilarious; unfortunately, the film takes a few too many steps over the line between appropriate and inappropriate.  We don't need to see a minion in a thong, at least a dozen jokes about butts, the minions eyes inside of the woman disguise, and the British guards certainly didn't need to dance around in their underwear while slapping each other’s (you guessed it) butts.  Too much of the humor is aimed at adults with its intentional edginess but the movie is too childish for adults to watch on their own.  Maybe I’m becoming more sensitive in adulthood, but it feels like many of the gags in this movie go beyond what parents want their children to watch.  It is certainly a far cry from "Zootopia," which was a perfect balance of entertainment for children and adults.  My other issue with this film is that it praises villainy without delivering the message of its predecessors that it is better to be good than bad.  This movie doesn’t actually have any message other than “The Minions like to follow bad guys but accidentally ruin their plans.”  My issues with the story aren’t meant to take anything away from the impressive animation, the voice talents of Pierre Coffin (as the Minions) and Sandra Bullock as Scarlet Overkill, the creativity of the 1968 setting, or the many comical moments throughout the film.  “Minions” capitalizes on the popularity of these characters and their slightly off-color humor, but it also brings about a realization that the Minions work better as comic relief than they do as star material.

[Pictured: It's a ton of fun to watch The Minions get placed into a ton of hilarious historic situations throughout this film, but the story just lacks the heart of its predecessors]

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