It has come to this. So did you ever watch either of the Despicable Me movies and wonder, “where did all the hordes upon hordes of mayhem-happy yellow sidekicks come from?” Well the answer has arrived in the form of a spinoff. This is an origin story of the minions, and how they migrated from bad guy to bad guy, eager to do the bidding of someone with a bigger scope than they have. Now I have seen both of the predecessors on this, and I think they both succeed, but to varying results. The first one felt fresh and inspired, which makes sense because it was made by a new up and coming animation studios (Illumination Entertainment). It had a noticeable charm that resonated with audiences everywhere. While the second one made a lot more money, I thought it was a noticeable step down in quality because they didn’t execute fully realized ideas in regards to where they wanted to take this. Now we have Minions, which isn’t without its moments, but the fact that this is getting awfully bare bones in the story department is undeniable.
You would really think that you could do more with this.
This is barely 80 minutes, and even with that in mind, a lot of this feels padded out. It is simple, and it is at the point where the plot is about as deep as the story on a Saturday morning cartoon. I mean, these Minions have names now, but it’s not like they are given anything that to say, because the language that they speak is still just a hybrid of six other different languages. I don’t even want to go so far as to call it lazy, because they are staying within the parameters of the universe they created (it wouldn’t make any sense for them to have anything but nonsensical dialogue at this point), but at the same time, when you watch it, you can’t help but feel that only a minimal amount of effort went into the creation of this.
You know what else is located in Orlando? Universal Studios. Coincidence?
It may seem like I’m coming down hard on this, but I didn’t hate this. It’s thin and as light as it can be, but sometimes that can be okay, especially for non-discriminating children. Anything that works about this is 100% visual, so don’t go in expecting brilliantly crafted written jokes. One of the most noteworthy things about this is the voice acting of Jon Hamm; I saw his name in the credits, was expecting a Don Draper esque voice to pop up somewhere, and got nothing of the sort. I had no idea he was such a chameleon of a voice actor, and I challenge you to locate him without the aid of IMDb. I can’t give this a glowing recommendation because there’s really barely anything here, but with it being light as air, it’s kind of hard to hate.
Minions (2015) ***
– Critic for Hire