“Who are you, my knights in shining denim?”
The Minions are possibly the finest children’s creation of the decade. The Minion’s comedy is a physical and slapstick one, including a nonsensical language, so clear that it can be universally understood. Similar to how Shaun the Sheep
was praised for its ability to provide laugh after laugh without the use of language, Minions should be praised for its ability to provide consistent laughs despite the characters only using this nonsense language. Despite not speaking anything close to a translatable language, the Minions’ intentions are never in doubt. They finally take centre stage in this third instalment and brilliantly take over the mantle from Steve Carell’s not-so-evil bad guy.
The Minions’ comic versatility, undeniable charm and absolute cuteness has led to an unbelievable universal acclaim and this will only continue with Minions. Kevin, Bob and Stuart are wholly entertaining and provide laughs for adults and kids alike.
However, the supporting characters are significantly weaker than the amazingly malleable Minions. Whereas in Despicable Me, Gru and his girls have centre stage, and flourish alongside the little yellow beings, Minions relies almost solely on the amusing miniature henchmen. the characters of Bullock and Hamm are reasonably humorous, but are ultimately forgettable. Scarlett Overkill is never as menacing as advertised, but is still enough to make the little ones fearful.
Unfortunately, the story is also ‘ultimately forgettable’. The search for a new evil boss is an excellent opening premise, culminating in a very amusing trip to Villian-Con. Yet, it is short lived. The film soon centres in London and on an attempt to acquire the Queen’s crown. The British setting initially entertains, as the stereotypes provide much comic fodder, but the tea goes cold on such amusements. The story is most certainly lacking, but it accommodates the Minions, and their comedy, adequately.
Still, these criticisms don’t really matter. The story and characters may be forgotten five minutes after leaving the screening, but for a seven year old, Minions is pretty perfect. The children in the screening I attended barely paused in laughter, and could not have been any more entertained. Surely they’ll be asking their parents for more Minions toys today, and will be begging to see it again. In terms of quality of film, it may not be exemplary, but in terms of entertaining its ‘U’ audience, Minions is a more-than-worthy addition to the Despicable franchise.