It’s a common theme in our westernised lives to look out for ourselves and think about what we want out of life. Heck, I think that’s a global phenomenon, though parents and most leaders understand that thinking of someone other than yourself is for the greater good.
In other words, if someone were to tell you that they can’t think for themselves and they need to be led, even if it’s by a classical evil person, you’d probably tell me that person was nuts, right dear readers?
Well this week’s film review examines the perspective of the followers, the hangers-on, the servants, also known as the…
Cast: Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Geoffrey Rush, Steve Carell
Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin
released on blu-ray December 8, 2015
Rotten Tomatoes: 55%, Audience Score 51%
The Guardian: ****/*****
Camille Delamarre is a French animator, director, and voice actor. He is best known for co-directing the Despicable Me franchise with Chris Renaud, and as the voice of the Minions.
I am a huge fan of the original Despicable Me and I enjoyed the second film almost as much, while anticipating the next sequel, which is expected to come out in 2017. Did Coffin reach to far with this offshoot movie that focuses directly on the Minions or is it a solid entry in the legacy?
We are about to find out and as per usual, I will give you a bit of background on the story first. Well, actually I am going to tell you most of the plot, because it’s not that complex of a story.
The movie is narrated by Geoffrey Rush and starts by telling a story of how the minions (all voiced by Pierre Coffin) came into existence. They have been around since the dawn of sentient life, and have always sought out a master to serve, preferably an evil one.
We are treated to a sequence that shows the minions serving a number of masters over history (usually resulting in the accidental death of the master), until the minions meet up with Napoleon. This relationship ends pretty terribly and as a consequence the minions are exiled from France and end up in Antarctica where they build a community. It goes well for a time until the minions become agitated, lethargic, and eventually give up hope.
In the 1960s, one minion, Kevin, decides enough is enough, and recruits Stuart and Bob on an adventure to find a new master. They arrive at New York and after some time wandering around they found a secret villain TV channel advertising for Villain Con in Orlando. The trio hitch-hike a ride from a family of villains called the Nelsons (Michael Keaton and Allison Janney).
At Villain Con the minions meet Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), an infamous villain, who is also looking for henchmen. Bob wins the contest unintentionally and wins the job offer. Scarlet will let all of the minions become her henchmen on the condition that Kevin, Stuart, and Bob steal the royal crown from Queen Elizabeth II (Jennifer Saunders. Scarlet’s husband Herb (Jon Hamm) supplies them with tools for the heist, but when they break into the Tower of London they almost get caught, which ends up in a chase that has Bob crash in the Sword in the Stone, pull it free, and become King of England.
Scarlet is visibly upset by this, but Bob doesn’t want to be king and happily hands over the crown to her. Scarlet then goes back on her word and tortures the three minions. Which doesn’t work. So the minions leave the torture chamber and go back to apologize, just in time for Scarlet’s coronation, where they crash a chandelier on her head by accident.
And I’m gonna pause it right there.
Pros: The comedy is physical and silly and there is enough cultural content there to keep adults interested too. It’s a nice break from the typical fare of Despicable Me, and gives us a fix until the next one is due.
Cons: It feels a little long for what it is, which isn’t very much. I think this is because there isn’t enough punch to the story.
Runtime: 91 minutes
Points of Interest: Pierre Coffin voices ever single one of the minions in the movie. The leading three minions are supposed to be allusions to Gru’s three daughters. Bob’s bear Tim is similar to the one in the Mr. Bean stories.
If you are a fan of animated films in general, I think you will enjoy this one and it will be great for children, but there are definitely more interesting choices out there.
“Following” is a documented behaviour, and one which many people are prone to, because it can be scary to stand alone. But that doesn’t mean that solo work or working in a group are automatically good or bad behaviours. The Minions movie proves that three individuals can work well together and independently for the the greater good, and have fun doing it. Have a good night dear readers, and I’ll see you tomorrow with some wisdom.