It’s been just a few years since the Minions got their own spinoff prequel in which we discovered exactly how the banana-loving henchman found their way to the Despicable Me star character, Gru (Steve Carell). Specifically, we followed Stuart, Kevin, and Bob (Pierre Coffin) on their search to find the perfect bad guy boss to follow for themselves and the rest of their minion cohorts. Now that they’ve joined Gru, Minions: The Rise of Gru shows us their first real adventure together… and apart… and singled out a new minion named Auto… and added a new group of villains… and, well, there was a lot of plot lines.
Illumination Entertainment found a gold mine with their flagship Despicable Me franchise and they have been rolling out new box office hits every couple years. I’m not complaining. I have enjoyed each one, for the most part. And, while this movie isn’t an exception to that, I feel like someone in the writers’ room just kept asking: “Are you sure this doesn’t need something else?” When it really didn’t.
Minions: The Rise of Gru starts out great; it’s very colorful and the character gags make the whole first half very enjoyable. We are back with beloved characters but in a new light as a 11-year-old felonious Gru is on a mission to become the best and worst evil villain the world has ever seen. His idols, The Vicious 6, think he is too young to join their ranks so Gru decides to prove his worth by steeling a magic Chinese amulet that is the key to their next job. The Minions, adorable as they may be, are not the best help and end up getting him into more trouble than he could ever get into on his own and now the amulet is missing, Gru is kidnaped, and it is up to everyone else to figure out how to save him.
The setup for a main plot works and sprinkles in enough potty humor to keep the kids giggling. My main issue with the film was in the 3rd quarter of the film. It splits off into a lot of plot lines that really didn’t need to be there and really trips up the flow of the story. It felt long to me but it seemed like kids didn’t really notice. When I asked my 10- and 12-year-old nieces for a quote, they said it was “Hilarious” but not a movie they would probably want to watch on repeat.
For me, I loved the puns, the soundtrack was on point with so many classic 70’s songs. and even though it felt a little long and disjointed in the 3rd, the 4th quarter is where they knew how to get your attention again in the final “big boss” fight scene and followed up with a very silly but endearing ending. Luckily that is the main thing you remember as you walk out of the theater.
Minions: The Rise of Gru is available in theaters now.