Film Review - Minions! Was the Minions' solo adventure a success?
After stealing the show in Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, the Minions were given their own stand along prequel film that showed you their character origins. Titled Minions, this new film was solely about the lovable little sidekicks.
Could the Minions carry a film on their own? Would the film be a success? Let's find out.
Minions starts out with a truly amazing prologue that takes viewers back to the dawn of time where we see minions evolve from a single celled organism to the creatures that we know and love today. We learn that their sole ambition in life is to seek out and serve the most powerful and despicable boss they can find. During this prologue we see them work for a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a cave man, Dracula, and even Napoleon Bonaparte. Unfortunately, the minions are often the cause of their boss' downfall and must then find a new one. After inadvertently helping with the crushing defeat of their boss Napoleon at Waterloo, the French chased them away where the minions took cover in an icy Antartic cave for quite some time.
This opening was pure genius and soared to success even though the main characters do not speak an intelligible language. The laughs continue to roll out one after another and your attention is captured by the zany antics of the minions. Though if you listen carefully throughout the film you can catch single words from various languages such as English, Spanish, French, and Italian. The opening was a lot of fun and was perfectly executed showing that a half hour Minions cartoon with little shorts could be very entertaining.
The film then moves forward to 1968 with Minions Kevin, Stewart, and Bob as they head to Orlando to find a new boss at Villain Con, a convention housing the best villains from all over the world. This introduces fans to the world's biggest super-villain Scarlet Overkill and her inventor partner, Herb. As weird as it is to say, this is where the film starts to slow down. The human characters in the film are stagnant and the story begins to get dry because of them. You can argue that the human characters are not the point of the film but if you are going to introduce characters that are a main part of the story then they should have meaningful contributions to it. However, the film shines when the minions are the focus of a scene. It may be because Scarlet Overkill is competent on her own where as fans are used to Gru, who is introduced late in the film as a child, who needed the minions' help throughout the Despicable Me films and grows as a character throughout them.
The jokes throughout the film continue to be delivered and most if not all of them land successfully. The interesting part is that although Minions may seem like a childrens' film, there is a lot of humor and references in it aimed at adults. There were certain jokes about the NASA moon landing, President Nixon, The Beetles, and much more that are clearly there for the adult fans which was a really nice touch. The quality of the jokes themselves alternates nicely from silly slapstick humor to more thought out humor with deeper meaning.
Illumination Entertainment along with Universal Pictures have a successful film on their hands. It'll be smart for them to continue to market the minions but I feel another stand alone Minions film would be too much. As noted earlier, perhaps a cartoon of minion shorts would be best and most successful for the little sidekicks.
Overall, the film is a lot of fun and has an absolutely great soundtrack with music from the 60's. The human story may be lacking but the antics of the minions more than makes up for it. This is a film that children and adults will both enjoy. The three main Minions are a lot of fun and you'll smile thoughout the film. I recommend checking it out.
Rating: 8 out of 10
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