Monday, August 31, 2015

Instead of ‘Minions’, It Would Have Been Infinitely Preferable to Have a ‘Despicable Me 3’

The immense popularity of the Minions from the Despicable Me movies led them to star in this spin-off movie.  The plot of Minions is basically a prequel – set years before they met and got employed by Gru.  The movie shows us the Minions’ passage through history as they seek to serve the baddest of the bad.  However, from a T-rex to Napoleon, they continuously fail in keeping a master.  The Minions, unable to accomplish the purpose of their existence, fall into depression.  In order to get the Minions out of their slump, a Minion named Kevin takes it upon himself to embark on a journey in search for the ultimate evil boss for his race to follow.  Bob and Stuart accompany Kevin, and the three of them eventually encounter the supervillainess Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock – a phenomenal actress, but doesn’t have the energy and investment in voicing Scarlet), who they potentially see as the master mistress that will finally save the Minions.

The movie is hilarious.  That is a given, since we’re talking about the Minions after all – their slapstick contributed significantly on giving the fun and uproarious vibes of the Despicable Me movies.  The problem is the Minions are one-note characters that work best serving supporting roles in a thoughtful story centered on an actual developing character like Gru.  As supporting characters, the hilariousness that the Minions bring is at the right dosage and boosts the charm of a movie – just like in the Despicable Me movies.  On the other hand, a full length movie loaded with the Minions’ brainless, juvenile humor is just too much that it’s already borderline annoying.

Moreover, the Minions’ personality, though adorable, doesn’t have the facets that a thoughtful, heartfelt story can be anchored on.  Hence, Minions entertains, but is pretty stupid and shallow; it has no concrete moral or message; and the narrative is predictable – in fact, the trailers have already given away the first two-thirds of the plot.

Minions is a clear money-grab movie.  A big reason why it was made is to sell Minions merchandise.  And it succeeds at it.  For example, when McDonald’s had Minion toys in its Happy Meals, customers skyrocketed.  I witness this firsthand in the local McDonald’s chain.  I myself was compelled to get a couple of them for my toy collection.

Furthermore, Minions succeeds in making money as a movie itself.  It has grossed over a billion dollars and has become the third highest-grossing animated film of all time.  My fear is that due to its financial success, the producers will instead decide to make a Minions sequel instead of a Despicable Me 3, which I infinitely prefer.  I don’t want to hate the Minions as pop culture characters, but I feel that if more Minions movies are made, I would eventually grow to.

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