Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin team-up to co-direct the newest animated feature from Illumination Studios, those adorable Twinkie-esque beings we love from Despicable Me, the Minions. Sometimes Spinoffs work with beloved characters, and other times they are disastrous. Both thankfully and fortunately, this Spinoff does not fall into either. It is hilarious, but panders to the youngest of children that leaves the Audience mostly, leaving us older folk out a bit. However, Minions is so jam-packed with hilarity, it is hard not to warm-up to it.
The Story follows three Minions, Bob, Stuart and Kevin (all voiced by Pierre Coffin) as they travel the world searching for new evil Masters to serve. They start off with the dinosaurs and work their way up the food chain to cavemen, but struggle to find a master who can out live their shenanigans. This leads our Heroes Bob, Stuart and Kevin to leave their comrades behind in a cave as they go and search-out a new Master. At the start of their search, the yellow Trio manage to stumble across a private broadcast on the television that introduces Villain-Con a gathering of the most evil and sinister on the planet, and this year they have the first ever appearance of Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock). However to get to Villain-Con, there are a few obstacles that they overcome with the help of new found friends Walter Nelson (Michael Keaton) and Madge Nelson (Allison Janney). Can the Minions make it to Villain-Con and become Scarlett Overkill’s new subordinates, fulfilling her every evil need, or will they unfortunately perish at their own expense?
The reasons why Minions succeeds is because at the absolute core of the leading Trio are their curious and naive souls, leading them into a journey of entertaining antics – and there is great charm in that. The biggest problem that the Film is its ambition to tell four separate stories, feeling a bit at times like TV Series episodes patched into a Film. Despite at times feeling as though it talks down to its older Audience, it certainly speaks eye-level to its core intended audience of younger children and that is what matters most.
Universal Pictures Canada release Minions in theatres Friday, July 10, 2015.