Jul 052015


Ah, Minions. Little yellow creatures who love bananas and toilet humour, and whose sole goal in life is to serve the greatest villain of them all. But where did they come from? And who did they serve before they finally found their master, Gru? These questions are answered in Minions, the origin story of the despicable yellow rascals.

Beginning as single cell organisms, Minions evolved to little yellow pill-like creatures (that look a lot like TicTacs, so kudos on this marketing). The hunt for a master was filled with danger; not for the Minions, but for the potential masters that they somehow managed to accidentally kill over and over again. After seemingly exhausting their supply of masters they attempted to start a society in the isolated lands of ice and snow. It turns out Minions get quite depressed when they don’t have a master – the reason for their existence is gone.

It’s 1968 and after many years of isolation, three Minions, Stuart, Bob, & Kevin (all voiced by co-director Pierre Coffin, as is the entire Minion tribe) head out on a search for a new master. Their journey takes them to the Villain-Con, where they meet the reigning super-villain, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock). Enamored by her they vow to do her bidding. They travel with Scarlet to her base in London and chaos ensues from there.

When watching the Despicable Me films, it was impossible not to crave more of the Minions. Their infectious cute nature, stupid noises, and physical humour was just so fun. However, it turns out when you set a whole film around them, it’s just not *quite* as entertaining.  Minions are the character actors of the Despicable Me world; they’re incredibly effective, but they shouldn’t be in the leading role. They work best when they have a key “human” story line to bounce off and support – this is in part due to the fact that they don’t speak an actual language and therefore there is only so much their garbling can convey. The films need Gru and his antics as much as it turns out the Minions do. 

The highlight of Minions is the physical humour. Language simply isn’t needed when a series of accidents leads to a T-Rex falling off a cliff into the mouth of a bubbling volcano; it is undeniably funny. Surprisingly Minions has an absolutely cracker British Rock soundtrack, an utterly perfect representation of the late 60s in swinging London. The Who, The Kinks, & Donovan provide the backing tracks to the Minions’ London adventures, and help ease the cringe factor of the few-too many British stereotypes trotted out for laughs. A short detour to Australia is amusing.

Minions may not reach quite the same levels as the Despicable Me films, but there’s at least one fart joke, so I was quite satisfied.


The Facts

Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin
Writer(s): Brian Lynch
Starring: Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Saunders
Runtime: 91 minutes
Release date(s): Australia: June 18 2015: USA: July 10 2015