Monday, July 13, 2015

Minions

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minions_%28film%29
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Since their origins as single-celled organisms, the Minions have only had one goal in mind, which is to find an evil master that they could serve. Unfortunately, they seem to bring bad luck everywhere they go, spelling bad news for whoever it is that they are serving at the time. This persistent string of misfortune pushes them to a life of isolation and gloomy existence. Just when all hope seems lost, a leader emerges in the form of Kevin, who recruits Bob and Stuart to join him on a mission to find their new boss. The trio’s journey brings them to New York, and then to Florida to attend a Villain Con where they meet Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), super villain du jour, who plans to steal the crown of the Queen of England. Everything seems all set, except that clumsiness and circumstance connive to bring about misunderstandings between master and minion, turning them instead into unlikely rivals.

The problem with this movie is that there really is no story to speak of. The producers seem to have only one thing in mind, which is to cash in on the unintended popularity of these jaundiced creatures, whose very existence does not make sense. But then again, anything cute and puffy is bound to be popular, especially to the younger generation. Voilà, you have your film! Unlike Despicable Me which also relies on cuteness, this film just does not have the fatherhood angle to save it from the utter nonsense that it is. What you get instead is an hour and a half of unintelligible blabbing, too much yellow, and bananas.

Yes, your children will enjoy this movie, and you probably would too, if you love chaos. These little yellow freaks are just too adorable to be dismissed just like that, and so the idea of enduring them for almost two hours becomes a welcome form of torture. To be fair, though, there are some positive aspects which some people would enjoy.

Polyglots, for instance, would appreciate the weird mix of languages employed to make up the Minion dialect. Majority of the vocabulary seems to be derived from Spanish, although there are also some noticeable Italian and Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia expressions that made it to the list. For the monolingual moviegoer, though, there isn’t much to comprehend. Not that you really have to.

Scarlet Overkill is a bit too one-dimensional, so lacking in depth that you tend to see an animated version of Bullock herself instead of a real character. All she has is one sob story to back her up, but we are not convinced. And then you realize that this is a film made for kids, but come on! Pixar has shown us that an animated feature could be enjoyable for both child and adult.

Oh well, this isn’t Pixar, and this spinoff is here for the cash. Earning more than a hundred million dollars in its first three days in North America, we could say that the goal has already been achieved. But let’s cut them some slack, shall we? The two Despicable Me films were unexpectedly good at least. Let them capitalize on all the cuteness for now.

And so, the verdict! Are you going to enjoy this movie? Well, if you lower your expectations, you probably would. Another good suggestion is not to expect witty humor because there seems to be none. Most of the good jokes are already in the trailer, which probably explains the scarcity of laughs in the cinema. In any case, just leave your brain at the door and try to enjoy. Don’t take life too seriously! Smile. Eat a banana. Banana! Bananaaaaa!

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