Minions (2015) – Film Review

Minions delivers what you would expect – The Filmnomore Movie Blog gives the opinion of a fan

minions

Minions is directed by Kyle Balda (The Lorax (2012)) and Pierre Coffin (Despicable Me (2010)) who also provides some of the Minion voices.  Following their popularity in Despicable Me Universal has done the financial maths and decided that giving the Minions their own movie is a passport to even more profits – Jurassic World (2015) is clearly not quite doing it for them.  This film is effectively a prequel that tells the story of the Minions from their first appearance in the primordial soup following around the largest of the first basic organisms.  Throughout history they meet the baddest of the baddest but find ways to screw things up in various comic guises.

The real story gets going in 1968 after the Minions have retreated into an Arctic home after their latest failure and while things go well at first they find themselves listless and depressed.  They need to find a new criminal mastermind to serve so Kevin decides to lead an expedition with volunteers Stuart and Bob.  After arriving in New York the trio see an advert for Villian-Con and the main attraction Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock).  The rest of Minions follows what happens after this fateful meeting.

In terms of the good points for Minions it doesn’t hold back on the jokes and barely a minute goes by without a new visual gag and there are individual scenes that are very funny indeed.  The film boasts a fun soundtrack with lots of period pop and rock records.  When the story moves to London it’s worth paying attention to whats happening on screen because the film makers have included every cliche of what it is to be English from policemen with whistles to excessive tea drinking.  Illumination and Universal are well aware of who their audience is and the pace is pretty relentless, no scene lasts for more than a couple of minutes, before we are with the next so there is little chance of the little ones getting bored.

On the downside Minions are at their best in concentrated doses or working off other characters so it is perhaps a little inevitable that when their story fills a full 90 minute feature the comic impact is not as strong.  One of the downsides with cutting from one scene to another so quickly is that the bits that work best are over too soon.  The funniest part of the film for me was when one the Minions is using a hypnotising hat but just as I was really starting to get into it we’re off again onto the next bit.  The animation isn’t consistent as we enter the final act when the visual appears to change and starts to look like a stop motion movie like The Boxtrolls (2014) and I think this was driven by the desire to sell 3D tickets.  This view was reinforced by the arrival of chainsaws and things rolling towards the viewer.

Minions was exactly the film I expected it to be.  It has some very funny moments but can’t live up to the franchise that spawned it.  It will entertain the family but pales in comparison to Inside Out (2015).  My rating 3/5.

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