Friday, 26 June 2015

Review: Minions

World of Blackout Film Review

Minions (3D) Poster

Minions (3D)
Cert: U / 91 mins / Dir. Pierre Coffin & Kyle Balda / Trailer
WoB Rating: 7/7

I'll admit I was initially skeptical at the thought of the Minions Movie. As entertaining as I found Despicable Me 2, it just didn't have the heart of its predecessor, and a further spinoff smelled a little too much like cashing-in to me. There's only so many times you can return to the well, even in family-entertainment (especially in family-entertainment).

But I'm very pleased to say I underestimated Universal thoroughly, and while Minions still doesn't pack the emotional punch of the first movie, it more than bridges that gap with its comedy. 91 minutes of glorious silliness had the auditorium tittering, giggling and guffawing constantly (and we went to the latest available showing, so it was 95% adults). Rather than go the route of slapstick for the kids and edgier asides for their parents, Minions just goes full-tilt on making everyone laugh at the same sight-gags and goofiness throughout. The BBFC's U-rating description of Suitable For All has never been more appropriate.

The animation, sound and score are all as outstanding as you've come to expect with tent-pole releases such as this (because it's animation, the 3D is worth a gander as well), and for the most part, the voice-work is equally seamless. The only thing which pulled me out slightly was Sandra Bullock as super-villainess Scarlet Overkill; partly because as much energy as she brings to the role, I don't think she's quite right for it, and partly because her character feels unfinished anyway. But the main attraction here is co-director Pierre Coffin as the voice of Kevin, Stuart and Bob (King Bob), the minions themselves, bringing the lion's share of the laughs as they blunder from one scene to the next.

And because we're in prequel-territory, the film wouldn't be complete without a sizeable nod to the super-villain we're familiar with; I shall say no more. Oh, and yes, stay until the very end of the credits.

Sure, it's a kids' film. But if even a misanthrope like me can enjoy sitting in a packed cinema with everyone laughing around him, there's something in there for everyone.
You owe it to yourself to go and see Minions.

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
It is.

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
If you have younglings, this will be a buy-er anyway, but there's so much detail in there you're going to end up re-watching it yourself just to pick up all the Easter-eggs.

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?
In terms of the animation team; it's up there with their finest. In terms of the voice-cast? It's good, but probably not quite their best.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Absolutely; more than.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
I just might.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Inexplicably, no. Well I didn't catch it, anyway. Then again, I spent most of the film chortling, so…

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Minions features the voice of Michael Keaton, who of course played the eponymous role in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman outing; a film which starred William Hootkins (Jek Porkins from A New Hope), Mac McDonald (an uncredited Rebel pilot in The Empire Strikes Back, and Billy Dee Williams himself (Lando Calrissian from Empire and Return of the Jedi).

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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