Film Review: Minions

Rating:

Spinning off from the Despicable Me franchise, the minions are out on their own in with a prequel detailing their origins. Directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin, and written by Brian Lynch, Minions tells the story of how the minions have evolved through the ages, serving the most despicable of masters. From T. rex to Napoleon, it is their life ambition to be serving under the baddest of bosses. But when the minions find themselves without someone to serve, they fall into a deep depression. But Kevin has a plan, and he – alongside Stuart and little Bob – ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss. Recruited by Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain, alongside her inventor husband Herb (Jon Hamm), the three minions find themselves in London facing their biggest challenge to date.

Whether by choice or not, we’ve all gone a little Minion crazy at the minute. Even if you haven’t seen the original Despicable Me films, then your Facebook page is likely to be full of pictures of minions attached to a completely unrelatable life quote, so you’ll be seeing yellow no matter what.

Now it’s not often that spin-off films centring on supporting characters work too well. Think Penguins of Madagascar: everybody loved the penguins in the original Madagascar films, but on their own, their story fell flat. And that was the main threat for Minions. Personally, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing this film for that reason alone. I didn’t want to ruin the fun and originality of the minions if I were to rewatch a Despicable Me film, but after seeing the trailers for Minions there was no stopping me.

So, did the story work as a feature-length script? It certainly goes off on an odd and unpredictable tangent, but the main weakness with films such as this is that they always feel more fitting as a TV series rather than being dragged out to fill a 90 minutes run-time, and that shouts out constantly throughout.

Minions does well to tell an interesting story of the minions’ lives over the centuries, building up to the day when they met Gru (which makes a fantastic ending!), but the story that it follows feels very scrappy at the same time. It was as if many basic ideas were pulled together to make a fairly average story that would suffice, which was then made to fit around some better thought out moments of comedy greatness.

But the comedy does bring it all together. Granted, most of the funny scenes are in the trailer, but the Minions are such a fun bunch of creatures, and it was enjoyable to get to see a more personal side to them.

For older audiences, Minions certainly has its flaws, but this is a film that will keep the younger generations laughing for hours, and you can’t really beat that.

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