Fans of the Minions’ antics can only take so much before going bananas themselves. Their craziness can’t carry a film from start to end, and the latest (subtitled The Rise of Gru) puts this lead back to the fore–sort of. As a result, we finally get to see why these little yellow guys are adored by him. That’s because their relationship with Felonius (Steve Carell) is steadfast, and it’s cute to see how often they’re helping each other out.
Throughout the film, I was sad to see this boy on his own. Marlena, his mother, doesn’t always give him the attention he needs and she’s even kookier than ever at her young age. Although we know where his other parental unit went (most of that story was revealed in Despicable Me 3), Gru really needs a father figure in his life. All he needs is love.
Pretty soon, we find Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin) is the man with the plan! His drama and Gru’s are similar enough to help them bond.
Another tender moment includes showing how Otto, a new Minion, is dedicated to Gru. He’ll stop at nothing to recover the amulet to regain his boss’ favour. It was in the hands of the Vicious Six, but the boy stole the Zodiac medallion right under their noses and, true to form, they want to punish him instead of congratulating! After this heist, the medallion is handed to Otto to take home. However, while enroute, he gets distracted and trades this magic item away. That’s a huge no-no and instantly, we got a film about the race to recover it.
By introducing this object, I can’t help but wonder what other mystic items are lying around. One reason I adore this franchise is because of the mad cap capers, but now, I’m fascinated by how the use of enchanted goods can change the mythos around. Although the spinoffs are brilliant at giving the Minions an origin story, most fans are more interested in why they love Gru and some of us are wondering where are the good guys? After the last movie, they simply followed him all the way home and begged for a job.
Also, we get to know more about this world without heroes. They have never existed, and the only thing to stop all the crazy James Bond style villainy is a task force. This team is lucky to take down these criminals. Had they been mutants, the country would be in trouble!
For example, two members of the Vicious Six are mechanically enhanced, like Jean Clawed (voiced by Jean-Claude Van Damme) with a huge metal lobster claw, or just super skilled, like Nunchuck (Lucy Lawless) a nun to rival Bruce Lee’s talent with chain-linked sticks. Their presence made me think I was watching Penguins of Madagascar all over again. Between these two works, the humour isn’t too offbeat.
As for the future, I’m looking forward to Despicable Me 4. I’m sure the character development in these two Minions movies will prove important. Not only will it have to pick up from where the third movie left off but also show them how truly faithful they are. Although they’ve changed allegiances and are working for Dru, I’m confident they’ll return to the father-figure who took care of them for many years.
To see what Gru does to win them back will make for a great plot. These films have always been about family bonding, and to offer something different is very unlikely. As for the girls and whether they’ll become part of the family business, we won’t know until more details are released. It’s expected in 2024.
3 Minions out of 5