Thursday, July 16, 2015

Minions

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  Banana?



Minions – 4 out of 5


I really dig the Despicable Me films and one of those obvious reasons the film is so endearing is those little dudes who look like they are sentient pills from Dr. Mario; the Minions. There’s no denying they are adorable and that adorable factor leads into some really humorous territory. They quickly became the most famous part of an animated film that was extremely well put together and tells a great and touching story of a supervillain who becomes a father. It’s no shock they got their own spin-off because those little show-stealers deserve it.

                                                                                                                   Universal Pictures
Aside from the show, they've also stolen my heart.


Before they loyally served Gru, the Minions were always on the watch for the best bad guy they could find. From when they were single-celled organisms to when they evolved to serve fish-like creatures to the point they walked upright and marched out of the oceans as the beings we recognize and love, they were always looking to serve the baddest they could find. However, over the centuries, they eventually found themselves alone and became horribly depressed. With morale at an all-time low, three Minions; Kevin, Stuart and Bob, step up to try and get employment with the toughest supervillain they can find. They find it in the first female villain history has ever seen; Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock). Scarlett dreams of taking over England and she has her tech-savvy husband Herb (Jon Hamm) gear up Kevin, Stuart, and Bob in order to achieve those dreams but the Minions bumble it up and now they must fight against the villain they were once hoping to serve.

                                                                                                                  Universal Pictures
Right now, there is almost assuredly a blog from a Men's Rights Activist saying
Scarlett Overkill's place is in the kitchen or some other similarly small-minded nonsense.

There was little doubt that I was going to have fun watching Minions. I mean they would have to really mess things up for this film to not work and would probably have to resort to the Minions talking about why 9/11 was an inside job in order to really destroy all the potential the film had. Thankfully, the Minions didn’t venture into that territory and the film settled on the working formula of having the little yellow guys screaming, speaking gibberish, running around like madmen and screwing up everything they touch.

                                                                                                                  Universal Pictures
Fun Fact:  They are all urinating into the water in this shot.  All of them.

                                                                                     Universal Pictures
I don't know if I wanted more of this character because
he was fun or because he was voiced by Michael
Keaton...actually it's because he was voiced by
Keaton.
If there was a downside to the film it would have to be that characters like Scarlett Overkill and the Michael Keaton voiced Walter Nelson—a criminal the Minions run across on their journey to find Overkill. Neither feel as utilized as they could have been. The story really knew how to utilize Scarlett’s husband Herb and he felt like he was giving just enough screen time to bring in some great gags and add to the story but a majority of the non-Minion characters didn’t feel as used properly. Overkill feels like a complete let down in both the fact Bullock’s performance feels a little underwhelming and the fact her character just doesn’t feel that strong. The character isn’t terrible and never takes away from the story but it always feels like she could have been more. For example, the story keeps telling you she’s this awesome villain but the film never really takes the time to really show you—especially when she becomes an enemy to the Minions and isn’t really shown to be much of a threat.

                                                                                                                   Universal Pictures
That hair looks thick enough to act as a motorcycle helmet.

This one complaint aside, the film is still a lot of fun and is very funny. The jokes are satisfying, the animation is fantastic, and the voice work is pretty good. The element that I really enjoyed and never predicted to experience in the film was the killer soundtrack. A majority of the story in Minions takes place in the late 60s and in glory old England. Some of the best rock tracks that have stood the test of time were created during that decade and some choice tracks make up the soundtrack for the Minions’ adventure. It was a nice change of pace from the cheesy bubble gum pop in the Despicable Me movies.

                                                                                                                   Universal Pictures
Ha ha...those Minions sure love bananas. 
And why not?  They're a good source of potassium.

Minions doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel with this spin-off and just tells a simple story of where they came from and what they did before they helped Gru steal the moon and become little goofy guys that stole our hearts. The film has some minor issues that keep it from being as unique and as memorable as the original films they came from but the movie is never flat out bad and it never gets repetitive and boring. The film had the real potential to wear out its welcome due to the reality that a larger helping of Minions could cause an overdose but their story is one that is charming, fun and adorable. Overall, just an entertaining and fun movie.

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