Starring: Sandra Bollock, Sam Hamm, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan and Geoffry Rush. Written by Brian Lynch and directed Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Just 91 minutes long.
It's the prequel to Despicable Me and Despicable 2. It's origin story of those adorable, game-changing, little yellow, banana-loving, gibberish-speaking, evil-lovin' henchmen first seen in the 2010 Despicable Me. Starting with the birth of life, we follow the course of the evolution of the Minions from single-cell thingies to the two legged variety, through the age of the dinosaurs and the birth of man and ending up in the year 1968, as three of the bravest Minions, Kevin, Bob and Steve head off into the big bad world to find a boss they can hench for before the rest of the tribe succumb to a deadly case of ennui. Their search takes them to Orlando and Villain-Con where they fall under the spell of the world's first evil, female genius Scarlet Overkill who takes them to London to help her in her quest to steal the crown and become Queen of England. After that, things start to go a little crazy.
This is a relentlessly silly film, and very much like this year's Penguins of Madagascar relies on manic slapstick rather than plot or story to propel it along, so whether you'll like it or not comes down to your attitude towards the silly. It's a fun ride but like all the best cinema snacks it's also an empty one, there's nothing beyond the gags and jokes, this isn't a Pixar film where a strong story runs deep, this is a glorious, empty-headed sugar-rush of a movie full of stupid characters doing stupid things and once it's ended you'll probably forget about it instantly. And as much fun as the Minions are, you sort of find yourself missing Gru, Minions are fun but perhaps this sort of fun should be in small doses?
Still, while it's on it's a hoot and the ending and final showdown are great. That plus a groovy sound track, some lovely animation and gags, and some funny characters make this is an entertaining and funny film but nothing more, although perhaps this should be enough?