Directed: Pierre Coffin & Kyle Balda
Starring: Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Geoffrey Rush.
It is almost impossible to not know what a minion is these days. Since Despicable Me was released in 2010 these little yellow guys have been a big hit. They have spawned their own merchandise, a mini movie series and an almost cult like following. They have a Midas Touch on anything they become related to and naturally, they now have their own big screen adventure.
The film is essentially a prequel to the previous two films and focuses on how the minions evolved and their existence pre Gru. Viewers follow the yellow capsules as they try and find a new evil master to work for and in turn save minion kind from perishing. Three brave (stupid?) individuals, Kevin, Stuart and Bob, head off to America to attend Villian-Con, a kind of evil villian based Comicon in order to find a new leader.
Here the trio are introduced to the world famous and beguiling Scarlet Overkill, the worlds first female super villain voiced by Sandra Bullock. The trio accompany her back to London where they assist her and her husband, Herb (Job Hamm) in a plot to take over the world and steal the Queens crown. The film then follows Kevin, Stuart and Bob as they try to save their species via various madcap adventures.
The film has a strong cast and on paper it should have been a huge success. Unfortunately the film falls short of what has come before and does slightly miss the expected mark. The introduction which highlights the Minions Darwinian evolution is the most entertaining part of the film. Whilst the premise had a lot of promise the film itself is by no means comparable to the Despicable Me films. Standing of the shoulders of giants. Or rather, falling off the shoulders of giants.
Whilst Pierre Coffin gives a talented performance as the minions there are sections where it is purely 'minions' and it can get difficult not to detach from the film as there is no clue as to what is going on. The scripting for all of the characters is not as well executed as it was for both Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 and there is also a sense of having too much squeezed into a short film. It jumps from scene to scene and plot point to plot point with little development in-between.
The film is enjoyable and children will love it but there isn't the same attention to detail that make the Despicable Me films so universally appealing. It seems to have forgotten the adult audience completely. Take the kids to see it and enjoy it for what it is, but don't expect anything on parallel to Gru-fun.