Friday 23 February 2018

Minions review: 'parents be warned… set your wallets to fork out for yet more yellow stuff'


Tanya Sweeney

By now, it’s likely that you’ve seen Minions’ little yellow animated devils everywhere: on bus shelters, in supermarkets and beyond.

Most parents are already keenly acquainted with the break-out stars from the hugely successful Despicable Me franchise… but can these hyperactive, yippy little creatures carry their own movie?

Well, yes and no. The titular Minions have a limited vocabulary, but that doesn’t mean the rascals are not endlessly charming. There’s something satisfying, too, about how Minions acts as a sort of origin story for the little critters.

Their raison d’etre is to service baddies and villains, and their long search brings them to the threshold of evil villain Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock). Scarlett looks a bit like a fashion magazine editor, but make no mistake, she’s as bad a baddie as can be; a villain on the rise with world domination in sight and the ambition to pull it off. But the Minions are not exactly employees of the month, in this or any other age.

After botching the job time and time again — by killing Dracula with a surprise birthday party or booting Napoleon into oblivion with his own cannon — the Minions find themselves in the 1960s, where Scarlett enlists their services.

Chaos ensues, as well it might when accident-prone, yellow tubular people are involved. With Bullock and Jon Hamm on board (Hamm voices Scarlett’s sort-of sappy love interest, Herb Overkill), the film is in safe hands. Neither of them, from the sounds of things, are simply dialling in these performances, and Minions is all the more entertaining for them.

It’s a zippy, silly and fun ride, packed with gags (although the Minions’ relentless non-English yapping, voices by directors Balda and Coffin, may grate on audiences after a while). Adults will appreciate the visual attention to detail and the ever-so-slight dark underbelly, while kids will eat the cuteness right up.

Whatever becomes of the box-office fortunes of Minions this summer, parents may as well be warned from the outset… set your wallets to ‘fork out for yet more yellow stuff’.


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