by Michael Cox

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday July 11, 2015


Even if you're not part of the 3 to 5 year-old set, you can have a heckuva lot of fun putting on a pair of 3D glasses and watching the new prequel to the "Despicable Me" franchise, "Minions." In this 91-minute computer-animated comedy, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney and Steve Coogan don their animated apparel and let themselves be their silliest.

"Little, yellow and different" is more than a pain medicine; it's a description of the "Minions," highly developed little creatures who have been around since the dawn of time and developed humanlike qualities. Chief among these is the desire to mindlessly follow a corrupt leader.

Throughout history they have subjected themselves to the most despicable masters, yet in their earnest attempts to assist in evil plans, they always end up taking their rulers down. They kill off the dinosaurs; they obliterate the cavemen; they even annihilate Napoleon. But as they enter the second half of the Twentieth Century, they find themselves leaderless, lost and lingering in a deep depression.

At this point, one of the mindless mass stands up and takes charge. His name is Kevin. (All of the minions are voiced by one of the film's directors, Pierre Coffin.)

Kevin enlists the assistance of the only minions that will listen to him -- a wannabe rock star named Stewart and the teddy bear toting little Bob. Together they set out on a journey to find a new master.

Their journey takes them to New York, 1968, where fresh off the boat they encounter a campaign poster for Richard Nixon. Now they could have just gone to Washington D.C. and solved all of their problems right there, but they discover a secret television broadcast that sends them off to discover their destinies in Florida at a covert villain convention, Villain-Con.

Travel is no problem, because they hitch a ride with a happy little nuclear family that turns out to be a Vietnam-era Bonnie and Clyde and their 2.5 little bandits. And presiding over the criminal clan are Walter and Madge Nelson (Keaton and Janney).

In Orlando, a stunning super-villain named Scarlet Overkill (Bullock) enchants the minions, and she takes them to England where she enlists them, with the help of her mod mate Herb (Hamm), to help her to steal the Queen's crown.

For them, she's perfect. But will she last?

An amazing soundtrack featuring the music of The Beatles, The Turtles and Donovan accompanies this campy caper that may remind you a little of The Monkees. This bubbly and colorful animation may end up convincing you that, when it comes to a sense of humor, the only difference between us and the neophytes is our ability to spot pop cultural references.


Related Story

Read More »