These "Minions" surprisingly serve us a lackluster film
"Minions" (2015) - Minions, the pill-shaped, yellow critters who served the evil villain Gru (Steve Carell) in the animated hits “Despicable Me” (2010) and “Despicable Me 2” (2013), have nicely nestled a warm spot in our pop culture hearts for five years now.
Rightfully so, as the hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of yellow do-badders offer hilarious on-screen moments of depravity and goof-ups.
Ask anyone who has seen either film, and “Minions!” is the first thing they will exclaim.
Now, in 2015, the minions star in their own movie, and this highly-anticipated film promises to tell their backstory.
Although their history is quite colorful and the film looks terrific, “Minions” is an uninspired and quite frankly, a dull story.
I must say, the movie does not start out disappointing.
Narrated quite nicely by Geoffrey Rush, the film begins with a very entertaining five-minute minion history, as we see the little screw ups bumble their way through millions of years trying to serve their evil masters from the dinosaur age to the 19th Century.
We then are fast-forwarded to 1968 New York City, and three minions - Kevin, Stuart and Bob – try to find their new baddie leader.
This is where “Minions” starts fall into a serious lull as the laughs on the funny meter drop to a trickle.
We meet a new supervillain, Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock), and she looks intimidating and menacing, but her character doesn’t possess much evil charm or charisma.
Scarlett introduces the minions to her husband, Herb (Jon Hamm), but he offers no additional gravitas to the story.
It almost seems the producers said, “Let’s get another star. How about Jon Hamm?”
Unfortunately, the filmmakers do not give him much to do, and Herb offers all the importance of a raincoat in a crowded closet on a sunny day.
Of course, Ms. and Mr. Overkill devise some plans of high mischief for our three little yellow friends, but with lukewarm antagonists leading the charge, the caper feels ordinary and typical.
Another problem is much of the film focuses on three minions while their armies of brothers spend much of the time off-screen.
Much of the fun of the previous films is watching the herds of minions causing colossal mistakes.
Although the movie tries, Kevin’s, Stuart’s and Bob’s personalities never really shine through, and when one doesn’t care about a picture’s antagonists and protagonists, a lackluster experience rules the day.
I must say, the film contains a terrific 60s soundtrack, including hits by The Doors and The Kinks.
Well, maybe I’ll buy the soundtrack. (2/4 stars)
Image credits: Illumination Entertainment, Univeral Pictures