Minion mania


In Minions, those jibberjabbering little corncob things from Despicable Me have finally earned their own feature film. Specifically, three of them: Kevin (tall), Stuart (plays the ukulele) and Bob (loves his teddy bear), all voiced by co-director Pierre Coffin.

After tracing the evolution of Minionkind – we don’t know what they are, but we know they’re hardwired to serve the baddest villain around – our three Minion heroes set off upon a quest to save their species and find the newest, nastiest villain overlord.

That’d be femme fatale Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock).

You know what, though? The story in Minions doesn’t matter at all.

This could be a movie about anything. Minions in a Brazilian samba contest. Minions struggling to keep their San Francisco bakery afloat. Doesn’t matter. So long as it has Minions onscreen at all times (it does) and they keep up their gibber-and-fall-down shtick (they do), any Minions movie would be a success by its own standards.

Those standards being: keep the Minion-hungry kiddos entertained, and print Universal a few more billion in merchandising bucks. Done deal.

That doesn’t mean Minions isn’t entertaining. It is.

The opening “evolution of the Minions” sequence is plenty amusing, and it’s peppered with some solid jokes (in one of the sharper ones, someone refers to the Minions as “bald, jaundiced children”).

It just feels so very plain, like it’s content chucking Minions into various mildly amusing situations for 90 minutes rather than coming up with anything really creative or unique.You like Minions, right? Here you go. Minions.

It also doesn’t help that the Minions are uniformly one-note giggle machines. They’re cute and lovable, seeking a villain and blissfully unaware of everything around them. . . for the entire movie.

So as the stakes ramp up and the Scarlet Overkill thing pushes towards its conclusion, the Minions just keep on keepin’ on with that same low-key cuteness.

We’re tethered to them the whole time, so any kind of action/drama/excitement isn’t really possible. The only emotion the Minions really allow is “Hey look, Minions,” followed by chuckling.

The more of Minions I saw, the more it burrowed into my brain, drumming up weird existential crises that have no place in a movie about silly yellow corncobs.

Is this even a movie? Or is it just one long ad for the Minions merchandise machine?

Is there a point to the film’s ‘60s setting? Because other than a young Queen Elizabeth and Jon Hamm’s hep cat mad scientist, you’d never know it wasn’t set in the present day.

Mostly, I think it was an excuse to pump the soundtrack full of ‘60s rock (including multiple Beatles songs, which alone must have cost a small fortune).

Why is the film’s villain convention set in Orlando? Is that some kind of subtle product placement for an Orlando-based Minions attraction? Universal Orlando does contain “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” so I’ll count that as a “probably.”

Look, Minions is fun. You’ll giggle the whole time (although the strength of those giggles depends entirely on how much you enjoyed the Minions’ presence in the last two Despicable Me movies).

The humor’s a little on the dark side – deaths by broken neck, crushing, various torture devices, etc. – but the film plays them all in straight Looney Tunes fashion, so there’s not much to worry about. Hard to freak out about that when you’ve got Minions in bikinis or rocking a sick ukulele solo three seconds later.

And worst case scenario, if you’re dragged to Minions and find your brain starting to cave in on itself? Just play the “What real words are hidden in Minion-speak?” game. I caught “tikka masala,” “mazel tov,” “kumbaya,” “papaya,” and little fragments of French and Spanish.

I dare you to do better.
Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

October 2017
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