Minions: The Rise of Gru – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Minions: The Rise of Gru – Villains so Silly: A Child’s Dream

What is it that makes us, laugh?  From stand-up to live skits, it is an experience of pure sensation.  Comedy is truly unique, something that is hard to capture in any medium, including film.  In this review, I look at the latest animated film in the Despicable Me franchise.  Returning to this world, it is a tale filled with predictability and fun.  Even when things get uneven in parts, Minions: The Rise of Gru is an enjoyable family escape of silliness. 

The story follows a young Gru (Steve Carrell) hoping to become the world’s greatest villain.  With his lovable Minion sidekicks, will they be able to succeed or fall victim to the dream.  From the beginning, this is an outline that lays out a simple ‘coming-of-age’ set piece within a scattering of ideas.  The first act provides starts with the drop-in method, as we see young Gru (still in elementary school), idolizing the Vicious 6.  His own story parallels the setting (1970s), creating a colorful aesthetic with animation, characters and world building.  As the first act progresses, certain ideas are introduced that pave the way for the relationship dynamic between Gru and the Minions.  Seeing their interactions provides a level of stoicism and silly fodder, one that adds depth to the comical relief motif.  Through some convenient plot setting (and a MacGuffin), Gru gets his chance to become part of the Vicious 6.  Things do not go expected in their first meeting, which leads through a series of animated aloofness.  As things becoming dire, the Minions are left to find a way to save Gru.  This leads into a second act that steers away from that Gru/Minion’s relationship for thinly reels of sight gags and slapstick/physical humor.  As situations start to redundant, it reveals the hollow a journey filled with strong ideas (individualism, friendships and chasing dreams) that get lost in the gimmicks (of the property).  This creates uneven pace and direction, breaking the central point of the journey.  There is fun to be had, but overt nature of forced moments drowns out the strength of the tale.

As things lead through various plot threads, there is a foreshadowing of a looming confrontation of villains.  With Gru’s survival on the line, it all teeters on what the Minions will do.  As things start to compound into a single objective, the journey settles on the important aspect of the film.  This leads to strong character dynamic that blends with hilarious gags and heartful situational moments.  With the Minion’s ready to save Gru, we head into a third act that pushes the silly and outrageousness to the extreme.  With more funny gags and unique humor for the Minions, we head into a full circle climax and an epilogue that ends the adventure on a high note.  Minions: The Rise of Gru is a fun animated tale.  Even when things get convoluted, there is enough fun in the overall journey.  If you are a fan of this property, animated films or just want good family fun, this is one for you.  A good family fun time at the theaters.      

Full Score – 3 out of 5 (Theater Discount)

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