“Face It, Gru. Villainy Is In Your Blood..!”
Much like Transformers and even the MCU, Illumination Entertainment is the kind of film company that know the key to success in terms of financial revenue, and whilst expansive items such as The Secret Life of Pets wasn’t exactly received perfectly by the likes of myself and other, more famous film critics, the company know which one of their little darlings will always attract the younger generation and their parents’ hard-earned dollar. MINIONS! Returning in their animated form with Despicable Me 3, the famous yellow coloured dumplings take the backseat somewhat after their success within the standalone entry Minions in 2015, paving way for the return of the Steve Carell voiced Gru, the bad-guy-turned-good who this time faces up against the long lost presence of twin brother, Dru Gru in a reunion which sets the basis for a movie which knows what to do in order to make most of its’ animation-loving audience happy. With slapstick galore and some rather hilarious characterisation of the film’s leading villain, Despicable Me 3 is a solid enough threequel, and a movie which uses the appeal of the Minions to undeniable effect.
Released side by side with the likes of The House, the comedic arsenal of Despicable Me 3 makes the film look like an animated Annie Hall in comparison to Will Ferrell’s woeful excuse for a mainstream comedy, and whilst it is true that watching minions read out the yellow pages would probably be an entertaining pastime in itself, the unparalleled addiction of admiring the existence of their particular race is undeniably the best element about the Despicable Me series and whilst they somewhat play second fiddle in this particular entry, the moments they are on-screen are definitely the strongest. Add into the mix a villain with a penchant for shoulder pads, disco balls and a jukebox soundtrack which features everything from Madonna to Dire Straits, DM3 is a surrealist bag of kooky wackiness, using the animated platform to construct characters and sets which I couldn’t help but laugh at, with the best being the inclusion of a pig-infested Freedonia in which cheese is supplied and eaten between moments of courting. DM3 is actively funny enough to warrant its’ existence in the Despicable Me franchise and whilst the narrative is somewhat predictable and uninspiring at times, sometimes you have just got to leave your brain at the door and admire the madness on-screen. BANANA.
Overall Score: 6/10
And It Was All Yellow…
One of the many benefits of heading into my local cinema is to experience a wide range of movies which jump from one completely different genre to the next with my experience of watching Universal’s Minions being a prime example, with it undoubtedly unlocking the 7 year old child that is still inside of me and seemingly transforming all the bad energy in the world to a charming and quite bonkers 80 minutes. The fundamental existence of the minion character has always managed to make me crack a smile, regardless of how I felt at that certain time, meaning before even entering the cinema I was bound to at least like Pierre Coffin’s spin-off from the Despicable Me series, yet unfortunately for the cute little freaks, “like” seems to be the key word after watching Minions with it yes, being rather heartwarming and funny, but altogether not being pretty spectacular whatsoever.
After years of isolation from both the world and a evil leader to follow, Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob are tasked with leaving the confines of their cave in order to seek a new leader to follow in order to bring back the long-lost sense of purpose which has been taken from their race. During their journey, they are taken up by crime-lord Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock, Gravity), who tasks them with stealing the crown jewels in return for the race of Minions to serve once again. In terms of the plot of Minions, not only does it lack originality and freshness, but it is also completely bonkers and thriving with quite huge plot holes, but hey, it’s a kid’s film with bald, yellow alien things, what do you expect? Yet the fact that such plot holes were even picked up reinforces my sadness at how just un-engaging Minions actually was, with an over-reliance of the Minions either falling over or making a complete tit of themselves wearing off and becoming rather quite tedious after the first 15 minutes or so.
On the upside of Minions, in places, it was rather funny, with the scenes in a rather rib-tickling overly stereotyped 1960’s London being the highlight of the film, with every English character seemingly all having exactly the same traits including drinking tea, eating scones, and shouting “cor blimey,” of which I found rather enjoyable. Overall, if a film such as Minions can just about hold a 21 year old’s attention for its’ short 80 minute run-time, then I’m pretty sure the kids will love it. Charming and funny in places, but lacking in originality and engagement in most, Minions passes the time, but don’t expect it to be loved as much as you would like.