REVIEW: "MINIONS"

So, I had some time off, and I decided to take a moment and watch a movie. My current funds allowed me to see a single movie, of the two I wanted to see, so... As you you can tell, Minions won out over Terminator by a slightly larger than narrow margin. What can I say, I love those little yellow guys. Not a lot of pictures with this one, since there isn't much offered on the website, but that won't stop me from writing.

So, as I have said in the past, I kinda love the Minions. I don't know what it is, but these yellow freaks of nature have always managed to illicit at the very least a small chuckle, and in some cases full on guffaws. Generally, if something can make me laugh, that is almost an instant way to endear yourself to me.

I went in to the earliest showing I could make it to, because I honestly really wanted a good laugh. Starting with the Minions singing the Universal Studios theme seemed to be a promising start, followed almost immediately by an "Evolution of Minions" title sequence, everything seemed on track to be a supremely enjoyable film.

Then things went a little sideways, and a realization hit me fairly heavily. The worst part about this realization, is that it was staring me in the face this entire time.

Minions act best as a supporting cast. As the primary focus of a film, their almost entirely incomprehensible Minion-speak, paired with their often goofball antics, make for a somewhat uninspiring feature. It is only when the Minions are interacting with one of the secondary characters that this movie manages to raise itself from the muck, and shine. The Minions left to their own devices are like the 3 Stooges, doing endless slapstick with a series of "Nyuk nyuk" sounds as the entire dialog. So, if you like the concept of an endless series of pratfalls, you've come to the right place.

Don't get me wrong, there are some decent chuckles sprinkled throughout, but rather than being a sumptuous buffet of laughter, it is more like an appetizer, it just leaves you wanting something a little more substantial. It is in the moments when the Minions are dealing directly with someone else, that the laughs happen most often. I think if the movie had spent more time developing the relationship between Scarlet and the Minions things would have gone so much better. I found Scarlet to be a rather interesting villain, and think that given time to develop as a primary character she could have been more interesting than Gru. Instead she is relegated to the realm of secondary character. They do manage to play up the fact that the Minions are incomprehensible to some effect at times. Most notably during Bob's speech about midway through the film.

This is not to say that it is an awful movie.

There is a lot of fun spots in the movie, just not enough to raise this film to the same level as the previous films. This is not the type of film that gives me a lot of confidence in any future iterations of the series, but it doesn't necessarily reduce my hopes for a Despicable Three (which should absolutely be the title of the third film)

The Minion songs are still amusing, and offer an interesting change of pace, since they go for songs more appropriate for the time period. The issue there, is that the songs will likely not be immediately recognizable to the target audience. Hell, I only recognized 2 of them after I saw the names in the credits. And "Hair" was seriously an odd choice for a song for them to sing. On the plus side, though... Some of the parents might get a big laugh out of the songs being played.

All in all, this is a decent movie, that misses the mark a bit just because

RECOMMENDATION: This is a movie that I can fairly easily recommend if you are a big fan of the Minions. If you're like my brother and his wife, you'll likely loathe the movie, because they have no sense of humor and despise the minions for some unknown reason. But if you love Minions, and want more Minions then it's probably a good idea to see Minions.

IS IT THEATER-WORTHY:I see three fairly good possibilities for how best to view this film. 1) see it as a matinee. Cheap is good. 2) See it in the cheap theaters. Cheap is good 3) Rent it from Redbox in about 3 months or so. Cheap... is good. I think my personal preference would be see it as a matinee, just to support the studio, if nothing else.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I wanted to love this movie, because frankly... the Minions are just so damned likeable. Unfortunately, I think the movie gets mired down with a mediocre story, and left to their own devices, the Minions fall kind of flat. However a decent soundtrack, a great voice cast, and some genuinely funny moments lift this from the realm of being completely written off.

FINAL SCORE: 6.5 out of 10

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