“Minions” settles for being average

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By Jacob Wiegand, @JacobWiegand_DE

It is often said characters of fiction embark on a quest. In this case, our characters are three unlikely, little, yellow heroes who embark on a quest to save their species by finding a new villain to serve.

“Minions” (Rated PG; 91 min) directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin, works as an overall decent children’s animation comedy, but fails to make any waves or set any new or interesting standards for the industry.

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The story finds Kevin, Bob and Stuart, voiced by Pierre Coffin, leaving their family of Minions behind to search for a new master in hopes of ultimately saving their species.

In this prequel to the “Despicable Me” series, Kevin, Bob and Stuart travel across the globe to 1960s New York and soon to Orlando to Villain-Con, a gathering of the world’s supervillains.

At Villain-Con, the Minions win a contest to work for the world’s top supervillain, Scarlet Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock. Now the Minions must journey with Scarlet to her home in London where they meet her groovy, laid-back inventor husband, Herb, voiced by Jon Hamm.

As their first assignment, Scarlet instructs the Minions to steal the royal crown from Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, voiced by Jennifer Saunders. However, in the process, Bob manages to pull a sword from a rock at a historic monument using one of Herb’s inventions and, as the “Sword in the Stone” legend dictates, becomes the current King of England.

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Angered by their apparent betrayal, Scarlet sets out for revenge on the Minions and will stop at nothing to steal the crown for herself.

One of the pitfalls of “Minions” is its story does little to make it standout.

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While the film is still entertaining, the majority of the humor results from Minions getting into ridiculous situation after ridiculous situation. While this type of humor is not entirely unsatisfying to most viewers or to its target age range, there needs to be something to set the film apart from other comedies.

Another pitfall contributing to this lack of more satisfying humor is its characters often speak in indiscernible nonsense. While what the characters want to say can be easily deduced, there is a void between this type of language and everyday speech, which prevents the film from achieving sharp, concise dialogue essential in many comedies. 

Honestly, I went into the theater and enjoyed this film as I think many children and a number of their parents will as well.

No, it is not a great animation classic you are likely to want to watch regularly, or one you will want your kids to play repeatedly in your home. If you have yet to see “Inside Out,” which is still in theaters, your money would be much better spent viewing the new Pixar film.

“Minions” will likely to make you laugh, at least a few times, but does little more than settle for being a typical kids movie.

3 out of 5 stars

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