Minions movie full length review - "Minions" is a lot of fun and a great family movie, but may be too much of a good thing.
In 2010, Illumination Entertainment released its first animated feature film, "Despicable Me", about an evil genius named Gru who was struggling to stay on top of the evil genius business, with the help of his pint-sized henchmen known as minions.
That film made over $250 million in the U.S. alone (almost quadruple what it cost), so, naturally, there was a sequel. In 2013, "Despicable Me 2" made over $368 million domestically and was rated by audiences as even better than the original. The minions were a small big reason for all that. They were a hit in the first film and they played a larger role in the second film, which performed even better than the first, so, naturally, they got a movie of their own.
The minions are child-sized, yellow, pill-shaped creatures whose sole purpose in life is to serve an evil master. Some are a little taller than the others, they have slightly different styles of (sparse) hair, some have two eyes and some have one, but all wear goggles and they speak in a kind of child-like babble which combines English, Spanish, French and possibly bits of a few other languages too (it's kind of hard to tell). Oh, and one more thing ? they're simply and completely ADORABLE! In spite of their evil inclinations, these are simple-minded, child-like innocents who mainly want to have fun and fulfill their potential as minions. And they are front and center in "Minions" (PG, 1:31).
This sequel to the "Despicable Me" movies is really a spin-off and also a prequel, which takes us back to the beginning of the minions' story ? ALL the way back. We see how the minions originated and, through a short series of vignettes, we observe their well-meaning, but hilariously botched attempts to serve a wide variety of ill-tempered masters throughout history. Finally, they are driven into exile in an ice cave in Antarctica. They build a civilization and do their best to entertain themselves, but without a master to serve, they're unbearably bored. So, in 1968, Kevin (voiced by co-director Pierre Coffin, who does all minion voices), a tall(ish) minion, tells his tribe he's going on a quest to find them a new master. With only the extremely child-like minion (even by minion standards) named Bob, and a "volunteer" named Stuart to help, Kevin begins his journey.
The three minions end up at Villain Con, a secret convention of super villains and their fans, where the minions meet and get hired by Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), the first female supervillain. Scarlet is taking her typical girlish fantasy of being a princess a little too seriously. She wants her newly-hired helpers to steal the British crown jewels so she can be Queen of England. Scarlet's husband, Herb (John Hamm) sets up Kevin, Stuart and Bob with a variety of his evil inventions and they embark on their mission. Of course, this being the minions, nothing goes according to plan, one thing leads to another, Scarlet feels as if the minions have betrayed her, and she sets out to get revenge on Kevin, Stuart and Bob, while still trying to accomplishing her goal. Meanwhile, the rest of the minions have received word that Kevin has found them a new master in the U.K. and the entire tribe is working to get there ASAP.
"Minions" has a slightly different target audience than the "Despicable Me" films and feels like a little too much of a good thing. Don't get me wrong ? I LOVE me some minions, but they're schtick can wear thin. Even their powerful minion cuteness can't sustain an entire film. Plus, while the "Despicable Me" movies seemed to appeal nearly equally to kids, teens and adults, the minions' spin-off is more squarely aimed at kids. The animation, voice work and story are all as strong as the previous films in which the minions appeared, but the humor in this one aims a little lower. The adults will enjoy the soundtrack and there are plenty of cute, clever, and funny moments. "Minions" works well as a family movie, but I think the little yellow guys should stick to being fun, naughty side-kicks. It's what they do best. "B+"