In 2010, my then-girlfriend asked me to take her to see Despicable Me. I went happily, but I wasn't expecting a good movie. When it comes to animated movies, Pixar has an outstanding track record, but this was Illumination Entertainment's first movie produced. My expectations were low. The movie surprised me - it had heart, it had an antagonist you wanted to root for, and it had a ton of fun gags. Most of all, however, it had the Minions. These little yellow goons that absolutely stole the movie and made every scene they were a part of a riot. I remember walking out of the theater saying to my now wife, "I'd watch a movie just about the Minions.", and she happily agreed.
Well, nearly exactly 5 years from the release of Despicable Me comes Minions, our wish had (predictably) come true. Unfortunately, the result was disappointing.
In certain situations, too much of a good thing can make it...not so good. Take ice cream for example. Sure, it's amazing on a hot day or as an after dinner snack. Eat it for every meal, however, and it's going to get old. It reminds me of the early 90's, when Saturday Night Live decided they were going to take certain 5 minute sketches that were really funny and make full blown 90 minute movies out of them. After 5 minutes, those sketches had outworn their welcome and some of those movies are downright torture to watch (It's Pat? The Movie...I'm looking at you).
This isn't a good movie. The basic plot is that Minions have been on Earth for hundreds of years and are always looking for an evil boss to serve. They see a new up-and-coming boss named Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock) and three of the Minions (Kevin, Stuart & Bob) start out on a quest to impress her enough to let them serve her.
This movie isn't terrible. It has a lot of good things here - the music is great (it's based in the early 70's), the animation looks great, and a lot of bits with the Minions are very funny (including one near the end that was so amazing featuring a snow globe). The little yellow things get into a lot of trouble and they're always very fun to watch. There's also a fantastic cameo at the end that I didn't see coming.
So what wasn't strong? Well, one of the main things that made the Despicable Me movies so amazing were really great villains. Scarlett Overkill is very underwritten and feels, for lack of a better word, lame. The climactic scene between the Minions and her just falls flat. The movie also goes for tired "eye-roll worthy" 70's jokes that are just so typical of the time, like the Minions coming up from a manhole as the Beatles walk across Abbey Road.