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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 13, 2015

Minions Review: A Boring Silly Prequel

THE MINIONS became popular after playing the yellow capsule-shaped assistants of Gru in the hit "Despicable Me" (2010) and its blockbuster sequel (2013). Most folks find them cute and adorable despite their being stupid and even if they cannot be understood since their make up language is a hodge-podge of nonsensical jabberwocky and various foreign languages, Tagalog included.

They now have their own movie, "Minions", a prequel to the "Despicable" flicks and shows how they finally meet Gru. Since this is an origin movie, the opening sequence explains that the Minions have been around since prehistoric times and they live for the sole purpose of serving evil masters.

So, led by Kevin, Stuart and Bob, we see them serving dinosaurs, cavemen, Egyptian pharaohs, Dracula in Transylvania and Napoleon, who all meet their respective ends badly because of their foolishness. Then they hibernate in the Arctic region (how sad since they didn't get to meet Hitler or Stalin).

They come out again to search for a new evil boss only in the late 60s to attend a Villains Convention in Orlando (before Disney World, but they chickened out and don't do Disney jokes), hitchhiking with a family of crooks led by Michael Keaton (look what happened to him after he failed to win the Oscar in "Birdman". They then become the henchmen of supervillain Scarlet Overkill (voice by Sandra Bullock).

The movie is a big bore, despite some fairly diverting sight gags. Scarlet plans to steal the crown jewels and become the Queen of England. But her mission turns out to be a botch job, just like the movie itself. It turns out it's Bob who's proclaimed king of England after he does a King Arthur and draws out the sword Excalibur from the fabled stone.

All in all, everything smacks of silliness and the Minions are not interesting enough to merit having their own movie. It's just too obvious that all the dumbness and tomfoolery are not enough to make the Minions carry an entire movie all by their freakish mischievous selves, Which is why Gru appears again in the end. Probably because Scarlett is not as fascinating a villain as Gru.

This is really a case of too much of a cute thing it becomes obnoxious. And if it elicits any laughs from you, then you're just as silly as the Minions. The soundtrack, in fairness, is quite amusing, using period rock and roll music by the Who, the Beatles, the Monkees, the Turtles, etc. But it's not enough to redeem the movie from being such a tedious bore. If not for our apo, Jane, we would have walked on it.