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Film Review: “Minions” has plenty to laugh at, but fails to live up to its Despicable predecessors

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Film Review: “Minions” has plenty to laugh at, but fails to live up to its Despicable predecessors

Final Cut: 2/5

Final Cut: 2/5

Final Cut: 2/5

Final Cut: 2/5

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Is anyone else as sick of the minions as I am? Their merchandise, their movies, their weird little faces – they’re everywhere these days, and it is exhausting. When I sat down for “Minions” in a practically empty theater, it occurred to me that, yes, everyone else might be over them, too. Universal Pictures has dug itself into a hole with their favorite talking Twinkies: they’ve spent a fortune inserting the minions into every commercial, product and magazine they can, and as a result, I walked into “Minions” expecting nothing but an absolutely perfect movie.

What I got instead was a thoroughly mediocre chuckle-fest. There was nothing about this movie that was particularly hilarious. The plot is jumpy, essentially made up of one borderline-inappropriate joke after another. Seriously – for a movie shoved down the throats of kids, there’s an insane amount of adult humor in this film.

Even the promising presence of A-list actors like Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm and Michael Keaton isn’t enough to make the story interesting. There is so much potential here – Keaton voices a psychotic soccer dad with a passion for bank robbery, and is arguably the funniest human character in the movie. Unfortunately, his role is overshadowed by an uninteresting, unfunny supervillain and her dull henchman.

The main story line is hard to get into, mostly because the plot points are haphazardly strung together between cutaways of the abominable snowman. The minions spend their lives seeking the greatest villain in the world to serve (this is, apparently, their sole purpose). The world’s first female supervillain, Scarlet Overkill (Bullock), hires them to steal the Queen of England’s crown jewels. Obviously, chaos ensues, and the aftermath is a frankly confusing ride to an adorable conclusion.

Ultimately, “Minions” just doesn’t measure up to the instant classic “Despicable Me” was, a curse that befalls most prequels. There’s a forced quality about it that makes the whole thing disappointing and a little sad, because it’s not the minions’ fault they’ve become so unbearable. The film simply doesn’t deliver, and the massive amount of hype built around it only makes this fact more glaringly obvious. Stick with “Despicable Me” to get your minion fix, and maybe you could rent “Minions” the next time you need to occupy a first grader.

The Specifics

Plot: Oversaturated with plot points and jokes about nudity, there’s not much substance here to keep audiences engaged.

Acting: I can’t decide if I blame the actors or the script for the underwhelming performances showcased here. It takes a lot to make me cry foul of Sandra Bullock, but everything about the voice roles feels phoned in and lazy.

Sights and Sounds: One thing I never tire of is the minion language, and it’s impressive the way their babbling manages to carry the story forward. The soundtrack is fun, and the minion design is adorable enough to make any moviegoer ugly-cry.

Re-Watch Value: Depending on how much your kids like it, you may find yourself forced to watch this film as much as you watched “Frozen”. So, good luck with that.

Final Cut: 2/5

Theater information and show times can be found at:

http://www.fandango.com/cinemarkcinema6_aaink/theaterpage

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