The minions have taken the world by storm since they first appeared on cinema screens in 2010, garnering huge marketing opportunities and now, finally, they have their own film. Minions serves as a kind of prequel to the two Despicable Me films and tells the story of how the minions came to be. Starting off as small microorganisms, the Minions have ben around for even longer than humans have. This troupe of little yellow creatures live to serve and they've gone through evil mastermind after evil mastermind though the ages. From T-Rex to Napoleon, the minions have worked for the biggest baddest villains around - the trouble is, these villains are not particularly successful and never seem to stick around for very long. However, the minions now find themselves without a master and fall into a deep depression. Then, Kevin decides that he's had enough of this and gathers together Bob and Stuart to accompany him to try and find a new boss. There is hope amongst the minions once more. The three brave minions find themselves recruited by Scarlett Overkill, the first female super-villain, and their adventures continue from there.
The first question that I asked myself when I heard about the Minions film, and I'm sure I wasn't alone in this, was how on earth can you make a film about a bunch of characters that don't speak? I was convinced that the movie would be a waste of time as we'd just have to listen to nonsensical sounds with the occasionally 'banana' thrown in - but I was wrong. The producers cleverly steered around this problem by creating the minions a language of their own. This language ressembles the same minion-noises from the previous two films, but is actually a mixture of lots of different European languages: Spanish, French, Italian, German, English - maybe even more that I didn't recognise! Anyone who has a basic understanding of any of this will be able to make out the meanings behind the minions gestures, which is a great help for understanding the basics of what's going on and creates much hilarity as well. Of course, a lot of the time, it is still just nonsense.
As for other voices in this film, there are a lot of famous voices behind the characters, but none stood out more than Geoffrey Rush, the narrator. This film almost starts out like a bedtime story with Rush taking you through the minions history and he’s so passionate and enthusiastic with his narration that you can’t help but be engrossed by the story. Sandra Bullock is the voice behind Scarlett Overkill, blending good with evil, demonstrating that she can play a range of characters and I cannot think of anyone better suited for this character.
There's no doubt about it - this movie is silly. Very silly. But it's also hilarious. I was sat in a cinema screen with people of all ages, from 4 years old to 40 years old, and everyone was having a good time, laughing at the jokes and cooing at the minions. Some of the things that happen are absolutely ridiculous but its impossible not to find the minions hilarious. Part of what makes them so funny is that they try so hard to do good, but fail to do so miserably, and that’s certainly a good description of their antics in Minions. This film pokes fun at quite literally everything so it’s literally a laugh a minute. A good part of the film is set in England so for British people this is sure to be a laugh because it plays up English stereotypes to the max. There are very few films I’ve been to in which everybody in the cinema was constantly laughing loudly out loud (LLOL?) with such a happy vibe.
Minions is a real feel-good film with bright characters, constant comedy, cute characters and a great soundtrack to boot. You get to see how the minions function as a group and its really heart warming to see their interactions with each other. Even the evil villain, Scarlett Overkill, can’t help but love them. There are underlying themes of friendship and family, which gives it a slightly deeper dimension that older viewers will appreciate. Perhaps it will even teach children the values of friendship and teamwork – who knows.
The soundtrack perhaps wasn’t quite as good as the previous films as I can’t really remember what specific songs were played anymore, nor one song that really stood out. However, compared to most films, the soundtrack was on-point. There are lots of big hits on it and they’ve somehow managed to find the perfect song for each scene. Of course the animation is as good as it always has been, perhaps slightly more impressive than usual given that there are more explosions than usual.
I can imagine that Minions will be a very hit or miss film, with lots of people finding it just a little bit too silly. For me, however, it was the perfect blend of storytelling, comedy and cuteness. I would even go so far as to say that Minions is better than the Despicable Me films. This film shows that the Minions are characters in their own right and the producers behind this film have done something truly incredibly by managing to turn these yellow creatures into protagonists. What’s great is that it works as a standalone film but also as a part of the Despicable Me series as there are some (seamless) ties to the first two films. Not one to miss.