I have no doubt on tomorrow’s show I will be surrounded by three voting-age citizens donning the vestments of late capitalism/plus-size minion costumes. I have no doubt that incongruous inamongst the sallow fanfare mine will be the sullen visage in pall. I have no doubt that I will have to look in the eye(s) of the one that looks most ‘in charge’ and nervously mumble ‘we need to talk…’ and, furthermore, ‘no’. Katlego will shoot a reluctant nod and I will almost certainly feel the dull blow of a cartoon character busting a merch-laden Happy Meal to my white meat. I will come to in the town square being drawn & quartered for division between Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Walt Disney & Twenty-First Century Fox because I wouldn’t ‘lighten up’ or ‘just have fun’ or thereabouts the emoticon curse on my sarcophagus will read. The Sarcophagus becomes a ride at Disneyworld; I can’t go into the details here. (I’ve been careful to avoid ‘cast lots’ or ‘hemlock’ here because my hair’s not as pretty as Jesus’s nor am I as bald as Socrates) Please tell my mother I love her & delete my browser history.
Yes, there’s an assload of ‘I-will-die-for-this-shit’ fans out there for whatever reason. But surely I’d have to be counted as more diehard if I know something they don’t’: there’s a very particular reason the minions evolved to look like anal suppositories! And so the story begins in the primordial soup with our still tiny, ass-medicine heroes looking to back the biggest fish willing to bully the smallest. Their tendency is to serve the interests, at every point in history, of the most despicable living thing they can. ‘Villain’ was another word used. From there they find the bigger caveman lording over the smaller and so it goes until the age of Napoleon. Curiously the story picks up from 1968. There was a delicious chunk of History they missed out on somehow! Those crazy critters would’ve given ANYTHING to serve the Führer: minions blowing up the Reichstag, minions carrying Kristallnacht, little minions goosestepping, holding formation of an all-minion swastika? Anyway which decade we put a cushy barrier in front of is interesting for another essay but 3 minions make it to the shores of New York looking for their next best worst, failing to see the Nixon poster in the background for whom they could’ve helped sabotage the Paris Peace Accords (to be fair, there is a scene where Herb, voiced by John Hamm, takes selfies with the gang in a prison, undergoing mutual torture, which will remind you of Abu Ghraib). Passing up that naughty opportunity they catch wind of a new super-villain on the bloc, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock) who later bestows hairstyle & alignment on Thatcher, though not in this movie. She’s got designs on the crown for whatever reason but their record will show this spells trouble for their boss more than anything and shenanigans ensue…
The first english really enters about 25min in, so if you’re kind of sociopath who can enterain yourself with a fart ringtone for that long, you’re good to go! But how much of a problem should this be? Wall-E was a masterpiece and the first substantial english you hear in there is probably at 40min! Its creators took temporal breadth & depth to lovingly nurture strong lead characters. Minions plays with that feeling I get after seeing too many funny pictures on the internet in one sitting: I know conceptually why its set pieces are meant to be funny but it’s so much of the same note that it can only solicit the kind of somnambulistic ‘lol’ you effortlessly kneejerk on repeat into your keyboard to make it go away at every physical gag for every heartbeat. The minions were purpose-built to be toddler-ready side characters to story in Despicable Me of course (a movie I enjoyed). Think Scrat from Ice-Age or the cockroach & cleaning bot from Wall-E. So, if you’re as tall as a minion or have recently undergone a lobotomy, fair game, otherwise you might feel cheated by the great inequality between motivation$ for $omething like thi$ to get made (hint: it’s money). So, entirely unironically I laughed at the marginal stuff you’d see the rest of the minions do on the side, getting sandwiched between a polar & grizzly, great fun.
But apologies, I’ve spent more time preparing this than the writers devoted stringing the awkwardly unfunny script of the lead human characters (in our audience of parents laughing at other stuff there was expectant silence at these moments). I carried this cross for you; please, you don’t have to see it too. Your kid is going to break the Blu-Ray player with it on satanic loop in year anyway.