Minions Review
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Ever since their first appearance in 2010’s Despicable Me, super-villain Gru’s awkward but enthusiastic Minions have stolen audiences’ hearts. So now, after supporting Gru through two films (and sometimes stealing the spotlight), they get a chance to shine on their own in the Despicable Me prequel, Minions.

Minions follows the bumbling yellow henchmen on their journey through history, in search of the biggest, most despicable boss. When they find themselves alone, without someone to serve, they begin to sink into a deep, debilitating depression—until resourceful and resolute Kevin decides to venture out into the world to find an evil new master. With lovable Bob and laid-back Stuart by his side, he travels to 1960s New York and on to Villain Con in Orlando, where the trio bumbles into the employ of the world’s first female super-villain, Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock).

The Minions were definitely a big part of Despicable Me’s overwhelming success. But, unfortunately, as is often the case for spin-off films (like last year’s Penguins of Madagascar), Minions shows that Gru’s zany henchmen aren’t really strong enough to stand on their own.

The Despicable Me movies had so much to offer: clever comedy, a strangely endearing villain, three adorably precocious little girls, and, of course, the wacky antics of the Minions. Minions, on the other hand, has the slapstick silliness of the Minions...and not much else. Though their solo outing offers a few good laughs, most of the humor is mildly amusing at best, earning little more than courtesy chuckles. The historical and pop culture references are cute but generally unoriginal. And the villain seems to be more bark than bite. The story, meanwhile, is random and rambling, meandering through a series of related but episodic adventures that don’t always make a whole lot of sense.

Fortunately, the characters are still lovable—and, despite their similar appearance and their mostly unintelligible gibberish, the three main characters still have their own unique personalities. But they have little to offer besides some slapstick comedy and a whole lot of bumbling. Watching it is like watching The Three Stooges in a different language: it’s entertaining for a while, but it’s not necessarily something that you’d want to do for 90 minutes.

Minions does have its amusing moments—and young viewers will enjoy the characters’ shameless silliness. But it soon becomes all too clear that the Minions really do their best work when they’re backing up a wildly outrageous villain. So, to see the Minions at their best, rewatch one of the Despicable Me movies instead.

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