“Work for me, and all this will be yours: respect, power, and…Banana”
Young children will absolutely fall in love with the lovely and insane minions, the humor, and the colorful animation, but unfortunately adults will find their wacky antics to wear off quickly as they become repetitive and tedious. At least that was my experience with this film which I ended up mildly enjoying. It did succeed in keeping the kids completely entertained, unlike with Inside Out where most of the younger kids began to get distracted and run around the movie theater. However it takes animated films like this to really appreciate what Pixar did with the insightful and original Inside Out. Pierre Coffin who co-directed both Despicable Me films with Chris Renaud, now teams up with Kyle Balda (who directed The Lorax with Renaud) for this spinoff centering on the colorful characters who were the highlight of the Despicable Me franchise. It’s hard to resist their cute antics and for that reason most of the jokes work in this film, but there isn’t anything else to the familiar slapstick humor. Coffin is the true hero here as he not only directs, but voices all of the minions and no matter how many times you hear them say “banana” it is funny every time. As uneven as the film might be, there are a number of memorable scenes that will stick with you and help you endure the 90 minute runtime. Unfortunately the funniest scenes are all included in the trailers, but it is still a fun ride nonetheless.
The plot centers on the origins of the Minions who have evolved through the dawn of time and have always followed the most despicable masters (including the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dracula, and Napoleon). Ironically they are always the cause for their masters’s demise (which can be seen in the trailers). With no master left to follow, the Minions settle in a cave and struggle with depression for decades, until one of them, Kevin, decides to go in search of an evil boss. Along with Bob and Stuart, the trio embark on a journey to America in 1968 where they encounter Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock) and her inventor husband Herb (Jon Hamm) who are the world’s most despicable villains. Scarlett offers them the opportunity to work for her if they manage to steal the Queen of England’s crown. Kevin, Bob, and Stuart accept the mission with the intention of saving the fate of their brothers and finally being able to serve a worthy master.
There is no doubt that Minions will be a financial success and it will attract young audiences to the movies. Adults will be glad their children will be distracted for a couple of hours and everyone will return home happy. Other than entertaining your kids for a few hours, Minions doesn’t have anything new to offer. There will be plenty of laughs and the characters will sell a lot of toys, but there is nothing else to it. I still had a better time with this film than I did with Home, which surprisingly had done very well in the box office, but neither of these films come close to the emotional appeal of more intelligently crafted animated films such as Inside Out, which continues to prove that the rest of the animation studios are far behind from producing the quality that Pixar brings to their projects.