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Minions: Punching above their weight

A still from the movie 'Minions'

A still from the movie 'Minions'  

Imagine a Gabbar free world where Kaliya and Sambha are looking for a new super villain to serve. Minions may not have got their due in live action but in animation they have got a new lease of life as Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda give the critters a universe of their own.

In this prequel to Despicable Me, Kevin, Bob and Stuart, the yellow capsule-shaped oddballs are in search of a super villain that deserves their service. The directors have generated a hilarious myth around miniondom where we are told that from dinosaur to Dracula, they have served every dark character in the pages of history. And many of their masters have lost their lives because the minions goofed up. It provides a layer to the narrative but only a gossamer one. But do sidekicks deserve a separate film? Every now and then as you sense deliberate padding in the screenplay, you begin to question the existence of minions. Is it an attempt to give the despicable Gru some rest before another instalment takes shape?

Anyway, after years of hibernation in Antarctica, the minions are back in business. Kevin and his enthusiastic partners are looking for a villain and after hitching a ride with a family of dubious morals they reach a convention of super villains and get enamoured by Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock). Morals can take a walk as it is a world where crime pays. Scarlet finds in minions her shining knights and propels them to steal the British crown for her. And if they don’t she will let loose her mad scientist husband Herb (voiced by Jon Hamm) on them. As expected it spirals into a harmless mayhem as they go after Queen Elizabeth (Jennifer Saunders).

They speak in a potpourri of languages that is largely nonsense but has a certain rhythm to it that puts a smile on your face. Kevin voiced by Coffin himself is particularly funny. Every time they sing, and they sing a lot, the gibberish begins to make sense. Set in the 60s, the director duo makes good use of the musical times.

The characters are amusing, the colour palette gorgeous and the gags suitably silly but if you are looking for a cogent storyline you have to bring along a magnifying glass. Bullock doesn’t really fire on all cylinders and after a point the narrative, like its principal characters, gets a bit wobbly as the directors literally go for Overkill.



Genre: Animation

Directors: Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda

Voice cast: Sandra Bullock, Pierre Coffin, Michael Keaton, Jon Hamm

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 3:00:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/minions-review-punching-above-their-weight/article7408216.ece

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