Film Review: Nothing of Substance in Cute, Fluffy ‘Minions’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – They’re cute, they talk like babies, and they already have “brand recognition.” In what feels like a product exercise rather than a movie, “Minions” extends its story from the dawn of time to 1968. Did we need that much back story? The voices of Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm star. Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

There is nothing wrong with “Minions,” it delivers a paint by numbers wacky comedy (mostly for kids) about the need of those yellow creatures to follow the most despicable among us – although that comes with the caveat that good will prevail (there cannot be a risk of losing plush doll sales in the Christian demographic). The film looks great, with sharp-lined animation and set pieces that are perfect for 3D viewing. But getting the “Minions” writing assignment must be the biggest cakewalk in show business (right, Brian Lynch?). None of the jokes have to work, none of the story has to make sense, and classic rock on the soundtrack is easy and familiar. While Pixar is throwing down with complex and passionate animated classics like “Inside Out,” the producers of “Minions” can ride their coattails with a whole bunch of nothingness.

At the dawn of time, the “Minions” crawl from the sea, and instinctively gravitate to serve the most despicable creatures on land. After failing to hook up in the dinosaur era, they start in with a series of homo sapiens (man), each more disastrous than the other. A lost war with Napoleon cause the Minions to hibernate for awhile, in the frozen North Pole region (Holiday pitch: Minions help Satan, I mean Santa).

The problem is the tribe eventually has no purpose. It takes one special Minion named Kevin to identify the need to find another criminal master. He sets off from the Great White North with Bob and Stuart, to America in 1968. Amid the groovy fashions, they find a criminal element in an evil lady named Scarlet Overkill (voice of Sandra Bullock), who lives in a lair in Swinging London, with her husband Herb (Jon Hamm). Their first assignment – steal the crown jewels.

”Minions” opens everywhere on July 10th, in 3D and regular screenings. See local listings for 3D theaters and showtimes. Featuring the voices of Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Geoffrey Rush and Steve Carell. Written by Brian Lynch. Directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Minions”

Stuart, Kevin and Bob Are ‘Minions’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Minions”

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