I loved 2010’s DESPICABLE ME.
I really liked the 2013 follow up, DESPICABLE ME 2.
Now in 2015 we have the third film in the series, a prequel dealing with just the cute little creatures, MINIONS. And my affection for the franchise continues to drop.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t dislike the movie. There are some solid laughs and it’s a lot of fun for small children. But this installment lacks the cutting humor, and most of the “adult” gags are cute, but seem forced.
The movie starts in the distant past as we meet the long-lived little yellow guys searching, seemingly in vain, for an evil boss to give them a purpose in life. Cut to 1968 (the source of the wonderful soundtrack) and we find the minions losing hope of ever finding a worthy leader. Three are chosen to go out into the world and find one: Bob, Kevin, and Stuart (all voiced by director Peter Coffin). They end up in London, England and in the employ of an evil criminal genius, Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock) and her husband, Herb (Jon Hamm). Scarlett’s lifelong dream is to steal the Crown Jewels and her three new helpers just might be the answer.
The animation is rich and alive as always, but there is a heart missing from the overall product. DM and DM2 had the three orphan girls and Gru’s undying affection for them that centered those two installments. There’s no such element here and the film falters a lot because of it, depending instead on joke after joke of the Minions getting into endless trouble. Coffin’s direction (along with co-director Kyle Balda) is always crisp and he manipulates Kevin, Bob, and Stuart masterfully. It’s just a shame that they are given the same stunts and jokes to repeat over and over again.
Take the kids, they’ll love it. Just don’t expect too much.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures/”Minions”