Friends, Minions, Henchmen!

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The most lovable henchmen to hit the big screen are back. This time, we get to learn their story before they serve their “Despicable” master, Gru.

The Minions are cute, yellow creatures who have lived for millions of years for a single purpose – to serve the meanest, nastiest masters known to mankind. Unfortunately, a series of unfortunate accidents prevents our minions to serve long with their masters. Things get so bad that they hide themselves from the world and fall into a deep dark depression. One day, a brave Minion named Kevin decides enough is enough and ventures out into the world to find a new boss to follow. Coming along with Kevin on this noble quest is Minion rebel Stuart and adorable yet playful Bob (all voiced by co-director Pierre Coffin).

It is 1968 when this glorious trio travels to the Orlando for a villains convention, where they are recruited to be the new henchmen for the world’s first female supervillian, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock). Overkill asks the dynamic trio to help her steal the Crown Jewels so she can be Queen of England and take over the world. Of course with these three, her plans go awry.

If you loved the Minions before this movie, then you will enjoy this outing. Minions starts off as a great film telling us the origins of the beloved creatures all thanks to Geoffrey Rush as the narrator. His soothing voice chronicles the history of the minions from the Dawn of Time to the 1960s, which is very interesting since we knew very little about them 5 years ago.

After the origin, the plot becomes strained at certain points. What you think is a story of fulfilling one’s destiny goes into a different direction completely, such as when the trio is being tortured by Scarlett’s husband Herb Overkill (Jon Hamm) or when every villain in the world inexplicably starts hunting down the Minions.

Regarding the voice talent, Sandra Bullock did a decent job with her second outing as a voice actress. For me, Bullock’s performance didn’t sell me an evil villain since the character looks and sounds too much like her. Every time I see her on the screen, I think America’s Sweetheart, not terrifying villain.

On the other end, Allison Janney and Michael Keaton are hilarious as Madge and Walter Nelson. Although their time in Minions was limited, their performances really stunned me because who knew that a family can ooze evil and look wholesome at the same time. Co-director Pierre Coffin, who voiced the Minions, delivers a lot of gibberish that sounds good. Sometimes you have to wonder what goes into creating a unique language for a film, beside the obvious borrowed words from French and Spanish. Jon Hamm gives the best vocal performance, emerging as the most fully realized character even though Herb is the less-savvy counterpart to his wife.

As an added bonus, the Minions soundtrack is a great tribute to the defining 60’s sound. You will hear hits from The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Who, The Turtles, Jimi Hendrix and what 60’s soundtrack cannot be complete without the Beatles. Stay in your seats after the credits roll and you will have a performance of The Beatles “Revolution” that cannot be missed.

The 3D treatment was barely noticeable, so you need not spend the extra cash. While not as strong as the first two films in the franchise, Minions is a good film for the family to enjoy this summer. If you don’t agree with me, may Gru strike me with the freeze ray!