Friday, July 10, 2015

Minions [2015]

MPAA (PG)  CNS/USCCB (A-I)  ChicagoTribune (2 1/2 Stars) (3 Stars)  AVClub (C)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (R. Bentley) review (O. Henderson) review
AVClub (J. Hassenger) review

Aggregation Sites (Critics / Viewer Comments)

Brazil -*
Czech Rep -*
France -*
Germany -*
Russia -* /*
U.S.A. -

Other (M/L Random) Individual Reviews from Around the World:

Czech Rep - Červeny Koberec  (E. Bartlová) review*
France - Camera Oscura (Th. Grégoire) review*
Indonesia - Amir at the Movies (A.S. Siregar) review*
U.K. - Eye For Film (J. Fae) review

Minions [2015] (directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin, screenplay by Brian Lynch) invents an appropriately silly "origins story" for the legion of loveable yellow pill / "tic tac"-shaped minions that "arch-wannabe villain" Gru had working for him in the Despicable Me [2010] [2013] films.

Indeed, one of the heartening messages the whole series of films was that "It's REALLY HARD to be COMPLETELY EVIL."  As Gru tried REALLY HARD to be EVIL in especially the first Despicable Me [2010] movie, so too the Minions TRIED REALLY HARD to at least ATTACH themselves to (someone who was) EVIL in the current film.  But, it proved really, really hard as neither We nor They prove to be EVIL enough (or at least COMPETENT ENOUGH in Our / Their Evil) to truly "satisfy" ;-)

So ... in the initial sequence of the film, we watch these poor lovable wannabe "sycophants" JUST TRYING REALLY HARD TO "GO WITH THE FLOW" (and attach themselves to the MOST EVIL MONSTER out there) only to, though their own sincere incompetence, bring about the downfalls of ... The Dinosaurs, The Pharaohs of Egypt, Dracula ... and ... even Napoleon ... :-).  Again, they had their "hearts in the wrong place" but ... it was STILL NOT ENOUGH ;-).

So ... after causing Napoleon's army to freeze out there in Russia, they find an ice cave somewhere and spend the next 150 years or so seeing if they could come to content themselves to live "unattached" (to someone who was Evil).  But ... after 150 years ... they find themselves increasingly ... bored.  (Seriously, some of the funniest sketches in the film depict these poor, goofily drawn, yellow pill shaped Minions becoming increasingly, desperately bored with their "pointless" lives ;-)

So three minions Kevin, Stewart and Bob (all voiced by Pierre Coffin) "climb out their hole," circa 1960, and set-out (for the rest of the Tribe) to look for someone Evil enough to serve.  Eventually at a somewhat anachronistic 1968 "Villain Con" (held in a swamp where Orlando, FL would one day stand ;-) ;-) they run into a drawn-like Jessica Rabbit "Scarlett O'Hara wannabe" named Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock) who impresses them enough to be worthy of their service.

And she does have a job for them ... Feeling herself to have been "under-appreciated" throughout all her life, she presses them to go to London and steal the Queen of England's crown jewels so that she could feel herself to be "a princess."

The rest of the film follows with these three yellow pill-shaped characters setting off on (as the Tribune Services critic Rick Bentley called) a "Three Stooges"-like attempt to pull off a Thomas Crown Affair [1968] [1999] like heist of the Queen's Crown Jewels.  Much, often very, very silly ... ensues ;-)

Okay, adults, YOUR LITTLE KIDS WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY LOVE THIS FILM ;-).  The concern is for you ... ;-)

BUT ... one of the joys of this film for adults is LISTENING TO THE THREE LITTLE MINIONS "gibbering." This is because as VIRTUALLY EVERY CRITIC THAT I CITE ABOVE NOTES ... they speak an amalgam of English, Spanish, French (and I identified Italian) that's both at times JUST PLAIN STUPID (one gibbers in garbled French apparently about "Sausage made of Mussels") and another REPEATEDLY gives surprisingly CLEAR DIRECTIONS ... IN SPANISH ("por aca", "por aba..." ;-) and a third, always "a little bit behind" calls out repeatedly (IN ITALIAN) "aspetta!" (which means "wait" ;-).  The mish-mash of languages that one hears will almost certainly entertain a fair amount of the adults as they realize "OMG ... I can understand these things" ;-) ;-)

Anyway, this is a SILLY MOVIE ... the kids will love it, and my sense is many / most adults will shake their heads and grudgingly admit that they kinda love it as well ;-)

A nice summer-time diversion then for most / all ;-)

* Foreign language webpages are most easily translated using Google's Chrome Browser.  

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