Despicable Me and it’s sequel were a hit; different levels of hit to be more accurate but still, so of course there was going to be a third. Here we get the story of who are the minions? Where did they come from? What did they do before they met Gru? All these questions will be answered, in the film of course not by me that would be some serious spoilers.We follow them through triassic times to the ice-age to present day (minus around 50 odd years). The minions are in search of a new evil boss and have come across the current big thing in the world on villainry, Scarlett Overkill voiced by Sandra Bullock and of course bumbling accidents and misunderstandings are ready for them as would be expected from what we know of them so far.
The new additions to the Despicable Me team come in the form on Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Jennifer Saunders and Geoffrey Rush. An impressive list by any standard, although not all of them you would recognise simply by voice straight away. Bullock as Scarlett is a great choice which a voice that can so easily switch from sweet and caring to angry and threatening, but it feels as though the character gets a fairly limited part and isn’t actually quite as present as every trailer for the film has suggested. Her husband Herb voiced by Hamm is also another I would have liked to see a little more of as he adds some of the more humorous parts as well as the Nelson family headed by Janney and Keaton who we were introduced to in the trailer as the people who give the “adorable freaks” a ride to villain con. The Nelson’s show us that villains are a lot more of an integrated part of society than we’ve really seen before, having only been shown a handful in the other two films; their family would make a good spin-off or television series. Jennifer Saunders as Queen Elizabeth II is exactly as you’d expect and love so not much needs to be said.
In all honesty I loved the first film and the second might have taken a few viewings but I grew to love it so it’s fair to say I was looking forward to Minions with the only expectation of a few laughs, few being the operative word here. For large portions of the films we only see the minions and as I’m sure most will remember they do not speak English (though if you pay attention you can hear a mix of French, Spanish and Italian) and their general gibberish although understandable generally becomes a little annoying when there isn’t a human around to give some relief, making the only entertaining parts when they actually say English words. The story itself feels some-what light, there isn’t much going on and it’s not quite as funny as the other films; it’s clear that what makes Despicable Me so loved is Gru and the girls, without them the film falls slightly flat. Also, although this may simply be me, it feels as though the second half of the film is some sort of dig at us Brits, it doesn’t seem as though it’s really meant to be any sort of compliment to us. I also believe it doesn’t take full advantage of showing London in the 60’s with the exception of a few pop-culture references. The one disagreeing factor to that is the choice of music, which will most likely appeal more to the adults in the audience rather than the kids but there are some classic songs in there rather than just being full of whatever pop songs are popular that month.
It’s a good attempt to stretch the supporting act of Despicable Me into a solo artist but it just doesn’t have the charm of the first two and frankly is slightly disappointing.