by | Jul 19, 2015 | 0 comments

The Prequel/Spinoff Proves that Minions are Great as Supporting Characters Only

Money over art –this is the undisputed law that Hollywood has churned up, and you can’t blame them: who doesn’t like money? Unfortunately the audience takes the toll when they are delivered disappointments. Something else that one sees throughout all of Hollywood is the inability to know when to stop. Minions proved to be the perfect showcase for these two ubiquitous aspects of Hollywood.

Minions is a prequel/spinoff of the loved and critically acclaimed Despicable Me movies. In Minions we are told about the origin of Gru’s (Steve Carrell) yellow, banana-loving helpers. The minions’ objective in life is to serve the biggest and most evil villain of them all, so throughout history we see them serving (unsuccessfully) such figures like a T-Rex, a caveman, Count Dracula, and even Napoleon (I’m glad they didn’t show the minions in the 40s). After decades of inactivity in the North Pole, three brave minions decide to set out and find a new master. These minions are Kevin, Bob, and Stuart, and they trek through all sorts of environments and finally reach 60s New York City, where they find out about Villain-Con where all of the world’s villains will gather for an annual convention including the infamous Scalett Overkill (Sandra Bullock).

I have to say that the first half of the film had me mesmerized and laughing at the minions and their arguments in gibberish. I can’t blame the studios for doing a minion spin-off, since the yellow characters completely stole the show in both Despicable Me films and they were a commercial hit. However, carrying a film out entirely on their own is much more of a challenge than brief sparks as supporting characters. And unfortunately the minions’ humor burned out at the halfway point of the film. The story itself, which had been so sophisticated and surprisingly intricate up to that point suddenly took a turn and became a predictable childish lump. The humor started to go on a loop so that every joke was used at least four times by the time the film ended. And I think that this was such a problem because the filmmakers were trying to extend the runtime in order for this to be qualified a film and not a short.

However, I don’t want to shame the filmmakers at all; it’s hard to make a film where the main characters speak a mixture of gibberish, Spanish, Italian, French, and English. I actually admire the bold move of taking basically “mute” characters (in the sense that all their dialogue doesn’t mean anything) and telling a story in a simple enough way that children can understand it.

But even so you cant help but feel that the second half of the film is extremely forced, so much that it takes down the entire film with it. And the ending is too fairytale-ish and ties all the loose ends a bit too conveniently. So overall the film is a bit of a let down, with a strong first half and weak second, but even so it’s worth seeing the admirable work of the directors and writers by placing “mute” characters in their lead roles. 







Kid Friendly

Who is your favorite villain henchman? Let me know in the comments section.

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