‘Minions’ Is Just Colorful Noise (Movie Review)

xminions-uk-quad.jpg.pagespeed.ic.TnuMPCmQ-3It has happened. The Minions now have their own film. Admittedly I am not a Minions fan. I have seen both Despicable Me films and have not been fond of their antics. A whole film about them is not exactly something that was going to rock my world, but I am happy to give everything a chance. Now having done so, my opinions haven’t changed. Additionally, even while not being a Minion-lover, there really isn’t much of a film here for those super excited for it. For those without kids looking to enjoy an animated comedy, Minions does little to justify its existence beyond being 90 minutes of colorful noise.

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As far as the plot goes, Minions has little to expand upon, as far as origin stories go. The film starts at the very beginning and allows us to re-learn what everyone already knows. These are strange yellow creatures that speak no discernible language (though their gibberish features a lot of Spanish, Portuguese, and Yiddish). Their goal is to find an evil leader they can serve. The film’s first act is the strongest, as it involves a lot of Minions dealing with their issues in finding a proper person or animal to serve.

Honestly, watching Minions deal with dinosaurs and Dracula was pretty fun. It can’t fuel an entire movie, but it was at least inventive. From there, we find out how ‘Minions’ gets by the part where some really evil, real-life leaders waged war against the world and settle into the main portion of the plot. If you wanted to see a film about Minions in the swinging 60s, this is basically the film for you.

Even while not being a Minion fan, the problem seems clear. These are characters that work best as supporting players that perform little antics in the background of scenes and don’t take too much time away from what is going on with those who matter. This film focuses on 3 main minions (another issue, as they work better as a giant group), with nothing to really take away, as they aren’t really characters. These are just three types of Minions who have a few details to differentiate them.

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Now, with a film like this, there could be something to admire in seeing how a studio attempts to put forward a movie that doesn’t have complex lead characters and instead focuses on a loose structure for the sake of one wild movie full of funny setpieces. The problem there is how the film doesn’t even accomplish this. If you are a bigger fan of Minions, opinions on this could vary, but even the die hards have to admit that getting so much of these Minions is going to be tiring.

Fittingly enough, much like how the Minions standout for fans of the Despicable Me films as supporting characters, the supporting characters in Minions are really the highlight. Sandra Bullock voices Scarlett Overkill, the greatest supervillain in the world. She eventually stumbles upon the Minions and uses them in her schemes. Jon Hamm is on hand as Herb Overkill, Scarlett’s over-the-top brother in a role that easily put the most smiles on my face (though it seems as if it was written for Will Arnett). Both of these characters work because a) you can understand what they are saying and b) these characters have more going on than weird, yellow blobs.

Something that I actually continue to admire about these films (even while having yet to like anything from Illumination Entertainment) is that the actors do tend to put on some kind of voice. These films not only attempt to bring the zaniness, they invite the big name actors to be just as zany as the spirit of the film. I only wish I could get more on board with the humor.

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One thing I can easily praise is the music. While Pharrell Williams does not provide the soundtrack like he did with the Despicable Me films, the ’60s period setting does mean we get to hear a lot of solid classic rock hits. The Kinks, The Who and The Rollings Stones are among the bands featured, which continues to have me admiring the music supervisor for all of these films.

Still, it all comes down to how much entertainment I am getting from these films and Minions continue not to do it for me. Every now and then their antics lead to a chuckle, but most of it lacks the same punch that comes from the old Looney Tunes (and other cartoons) that have seemed to inspire them in various ways. At the same time, there is nothing really here that would seemingly entertain adults the whole time, as opposed to serving as an easy distraction for the kids that are happy to laugh at the silliness. Sure, it’s for kids, but so is ‘Inside Out’, which is being regarded as incredible for people of all ages.



Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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