HOLLYWOOD—They were the small, yellow creatures that were stars in the “Despicable Me” and “Despicable Me 2” flicks, so it was no surprise that the characters would soon get their own spin-off in “Minions.” The flick is a prequel and gives a bit of backstory behind the funny yellow friends.
From the beginning of their existence, their primary goal was to serve the most evil rulers in the world. This includes the T. Rex, a caveman, Dracula and many other historical greats. The narrative fast-forwards a bit to the 20th century and the Minions have gone into a deep depression, unable to find a suitor to serve. This prompts Kevin to seek out a potential candidate for his crew with the assistance of Stuart and Bob (all Minions voiced by Pierre Coffin).
The animated flick certainly delivers the laughs in a string of scenes. One of those scenes includes the Minions taking a trip to a Comic-Con like event known as Villain-Con, which hosts some of the most nefarious bad guys and gals of the world. The Minions are mesmerized by Scarlet Overkill (voice of Sandra Bullock) who is the world’s first female supervillain. Standing by her side is her evil hubby Herb (voice of Jon Hamm).
I love the idea that the Minions get to go global once again, this time to Scarlet’s headquarters in London where they serve their queen with great pleasure. The narrative jumps into full gear when Scarlet demands her new loyal servants to capture the crown from Queen Elizabeth II. That mission turns Scarlet against her servants and a war ensues.
I have heard plenty of backlash from a few parents at some of the gags that the movie exhibits to its pint-sized audience. That scene with one of the Minions walking to the Jacuzzi in a thong is beyond hilarious. It’s a bit of an inside joke for the adults forced to sit through the movie. I thought most kids found the scene rather hilarious as well, but the envelope is slightly pushed if one wants to make that argument.
What I enjoyed most about “Minions” is its ability to convey to kids that a villain isn’t as bad as one would think. They have insecurities, they have flaws, and at the root of their madness, there is a glimmer of good. Do I expect a sequel for the flick, certainly, but considering the movie sets the stage for the first “Despicable Me” film, it wouldn’t be a stand-alone flick in my opinion.
“Minions” delivers precisely what the audience expects: plenty of laughs, lots of charm and a unique perspective on the world of villainy. There is more fun in a bad guy, sometimes than a good guy.