Monday, July 20, 2015

I don't want you to take this the wrong way...but I hate you.

It might seem crazy what I'm bout to say.

If you ever were a kid, or happen to be a parent of one (or someone who generally enjoys unhealthy eating), you might know that McDonald's lures kids into its restaurants with the promise of a mysterious toy. Yeah, there might be food involved, some sort of actual meat and potatoes, but what the kids really want is the cheap plastic toy awaiting them at the bottom of the box.

It might be kind of cool for a minute, but's just another shiny piece of uninspired junk

Maybe that's a bit too harsh, but I was bored out of my skull during the Minions. My wife was, too. Though clearly we're not the target demographic for this kind of flick, eventually, so was our son. And as a kid that loves (loved?) all things Despicable Me, that was the biggest disappointment.

Initially, however, things were going quite well. Anchored by the stellar narration of Geoffrey Rush, Minions begins with the charming story outlining the origin of the little yellow goofballs. It's such a fun few minutes, you'd think they would have made the preview out of it. Oh, yeah....

They did. 

But what they didn't really explain (well, not until the final preview), was that the movie is essentially a heist film, where Bob, Stuart and Kevin set out to steal the Queen of England's crown. While the particulars may not even matter (it is a Minion movie after all), this angle is so perfectly generic, even the presence of (once) lovable characters can't inject any life into that premise. This horse is dead, for the love of God, stop beating it.

It feels stupid now, but I fully expected to enjoy this movie. Early buzz was that it was funny, and I truly consider the first film a classic (the second one? not so much). But with about a month left in Summertime Movies, this is, surprisingly, the biggest disappointment yet. Yes, it's making a killing. And there is something Minion-related in every aisle of the grocery store. But unless it's yellow toilet paper or hemorrhoid creme coming out of a tube shaped like Stuart, I ain't buying it. 

Speaking of horrible things in and around one's ass, here are the Yays and Boos. Don't worry, Cars 2 [review], you're still the worst cash-grabbing awful sequel I've ever seen, but, truth be told. I never really expected to like you in the first place, any way.

Even though I didn't know Herb was played by Hamm...
...I still loved every second of this guy.

  • Singing the Universal logo music was a nice touch. At this point, we're all good. I looked down at my son, and he was giddy.
  • That little Dating Game scene was a good bit of alright.
  • Even though she ends up being about as memorable as your last Happy Meal, Scarlett Overkill had a pretty rad introduction.
  • Michael Keaton shows up for a minute, which I'll always support. Especially when he sounds like a rather fatherly Beetlejuice. 
  • If I didn't know any better, um, and if CDs were still a thing, the music for Minions could pass as the third disc of the Forrest Gump soundtrack.
  • It was likely entirely unnecessary, but I kind of liked the brief claymation segment. 
  • The finale, which basically roused me from my backwards Spanish-induced coma, was decent. Robo-legs were pretty cool, as was that sweet carriage save over the river. 
  • And finally, the best moment of the entire film. The bit where you could actually sense every person in the room simultaneously waking up and leaning forward, put your hands together for...Young Gru. 
I'd rather pick up three versions of Harlan Williams
Seven minute abs!
  • So...that effective preview. Easily gave away the first third of the movie. The Boo is that that was still my favorite part.
  • I don't know, but the whole family of criminals? Kind of pointless, no?
  • My son said that they showed a younger version of Gru's mom. Dang it. Totally missed it.
  • Man, as far as unnecessary dance numbers, what we get here might be record-settingly awful. Really, guys. What the Hell was that?
  • Speaking of, Hey hey we're the Minions? Seems desperate. 90% of the audience missed that reference. And the other 10% were asleep. Or on their phones (the Phone Dad next to me was a big fan of BRIGHTNESS).
  • And finally, even if Minions never really opted in for also catering to parents, I thought that being sensible and clever was a required feature of all top-tier animated flicks. Inside Out [review] probably hogged all the cartoon-related thoughtfulness, huh? Thanks a lot, PIXAR. You could have said something, you know?
So, as I'm sure you're aware, right now, in a Happy Meal? You totally get a Minion character with your food. They're annoying as Hell, as any slight vibration will trigger them to launch into one of their ultra-repetitive, incoherent sayings. The first one was cute, and we all smiled at it. The second one? Less cute...but it was lost for awhile, so we were actually happy when we saw it again.

But that last one, the third one? Foolish.

Three's way too many.


  1. Haha! This is my favourite Minions review ever! I wasn't thrilled by the movie, but I didn't hate it, although I agree with everything you've said here!
    - Allie

    1. Favorite ever? Well, let me add that to the Yays.

      I was probably too harsh on it, but I went to full on jilted-lover mode, you know? Like, big time overreaction.

      Thanks, Allie!

  2. Minions are everywhere. I just pulled a Minion toy out of my cereal box this morning. My kid loved this, I was pretty Meh on it, just like I was with Inside Out, Penguins of Madagascar, and Big Hero Six. I suppose not everything can be HTTYD2 for me.

    Great review! I'm avoiding McDonalds for awhile.

    1.'ve been pretty uninterested in a lot of the animated stuff as of late, haven't you? I don't necessarily blame you, but I liked Inside Out and Big Hero 6 a lot. Those Penguins? Eh, f 'em. HTTYD2 was awesome though. Straight magic.

      My son loves him a happy meal, even though he could give a damn about the food. The promise of cheap junk certainly lights his fire. The sad part? I was the same way when I was a kid.