Minions: The Rise of Gru

In Films by Alex Moss Editor

Since the release of 2010’s Despicable Me the Minions have become the most successful animated franchise of all time, grossing no less than $3.7 Billion at the global box office. That’s right, these weird, tik-tak shaped littler characters are now bigger than the likes of Buzz, Woody, Shrek and probably any other animated character you care to think of.

So it was inevitable we would be given a fifth installment in the franchise in the shape of Minions: The Rise Of Gru. The plot for this is, well, seemingly written by the Minions themselves. In 1970s San Francisco the Vicious 6, a group of super villains, have discovered a stone that will give them unimaginable powers. But before they unleash said power they need a new member. Enter a young Gru (Steve Carell) who fails the audition but gains the stone. He then entrusts it to a Minion who promptly trades it for a pet rock and chaos ensues.

Look, if you’re here for a gripping plot then go elsewhere. If you’re here for cute characters doing weird voices, being adorable and endlessly mad set pieces you’ve come to the right place. This is not Pixar in which there is a core message of the film, this is about Three Stooges like slapstick comedy. When the Minions are doing their thing, talking in their bizarrely infectious hybrid of language and babble, as if a baby with a supremely high IQ had got its hands on the Rosetta Stone, it is at its best. One sequence sees the Minions learning Kung-Fu from Michelle Yeoh voiced Master Chow and is a delight.

Where it snags is when it is trying to cope with a bit of plot and character development. Honestly, we’re not interested. The Minions are already perfectly formed characters; we don’t need the padding around them of Gru and his mentor learning to work together. Just give us the weird Minions doing strange things with wide-eyed-innocent madness.

Thankfully these moments are fleeting and instead we’re mostly given some stunning animation, the textures are so rich they feel real, and just enough laughs to keep everyone entertained. It might wain a bit in places for older audience members but for the demographic it’s aimed at, it’s a certain smile-inducing riot.

Very much more of the same but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and Minions: The Rise of Gru is a forgetably fun ride that does exactly what it needs to without pushing the envelope.