Reel Reviews: Where’s Gru when you need him?

Minions give their origin story in polarizing film.

  • Jul. 19, 2015 10:00 a.m.

All through history, the Minions served the biggest, the baddest, the most dastardly humans they could.

Each time their master would fall and they would move on, until finally they could find no more villains to serve. Creating a home of their own in the Arctic, the Minions partied and partied until they became bored, then finally depressed. Until one day Kevin decided it was time to go out into the world to find a new villain to serve. Not just any villain, but a super villainess in the year 1968, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), and the modern Minion was born.

We say, “Minions ride.”

TAYLOR: I enjoyed Minions, after sitting through The Gallows on a Sunday afternoon, it was a real palate cleanser.

I’m not sure I understand the Minions exactly, but I’m trying. They seem to be doing good rather than evil. Everyone they serve either dies or is otherwise foiled. They care about each other and their friends.

For the most part, they’re childlike and innocently adorable. However, if I forget about what they are and focus on their antics, it becomes a fun and funny 90 minutes.

HOWE: Maybe you found them fun. I found Minions about as much fun as watching paint dry. One word sums up Minions: Terrible with a huge capital T. I wanted to go home after the first 10 minutes and I haven’t felt like that since watching The Three Stooges.

Minions isn’t funny. The evil villain Scarlet isn’t that evil and listening to the Minions waffle on in that baby googly gar-gar drivel for 90 minutes drove me crackers.

It seems the Minions work better in smaller installments, such as Despicable Me, because of the limited time they are in the movie. They can’t deliver when given their own big budget blockbuster. This has to go down as one of the most disappointing, eagerly awaited movies I have reviewed.

FENIN: Dad, I have to agree with you. Even I didn’t find it that funny. The best bit was when they had to steal the crown.

HOWE: Really Fenin? You were able to find a best bit in the movie?

FENIN: OK, the best bit was getting the Minion cup with the popcorn.

TAYLOR: Well, I liked the film. I like their hodgepodge baby language. I thought the Minions were the highlight of Despicable Me 2. I think their abstractness and simplicity work together to create something that doesn’t exactly make sense, but is still some harmless fun and worthy of a movie. I think you two are over-thinking this one, Messieurs Howe junior and senior.

Minions might be pointless, even underwhelming, but it’s still a silly good time.

– Howe gives Minions a 0.5 seagull out of 5.

– Fenin gives it 3 Kevins out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 3.75 abominable snowmen out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.