Saturday, July 18, 2015

NBC Universal's Minions

Minions is not a movie for the uber serious SF/F Fan. If, however, you enjoy goofy, cute, family friendly goodness this is a good place to look. Fans of the Despicable Me franchise (or their parents) will immediately recognize these lovable little guys. They've been around for what seems like forever and the merchandising is everywhere. I have to admit that I hadn't seen the first two movies when I allowed my two minions to talk me into taking them to see this flick, but I'm glad I did. We had a good time.

First, just in case one of the uber-sensitive true-fen Puppy Kicker types walks in: Yes, this is SF. Any movie featuring lava guns, jet pack dresses, abominable snowmen, etc. has enough SF elements to qualify. Plus it's my blog and I'll post if I want to. And besides, you idiots gave If You Were a Dinosaur My Love a Hugo and that wasn't SF or a story. Anything that includes guns that shoot lava and/or dresses that have rocket boosters and fire missiles is SF even if it wasn't written for the cause of advancing your leftist BS.

The story follows our little yellow heroes from pre-history up until the late 1960s. They have a boss. They lose a boss. They gain another one. Then they go years and years without one. Life is bleak for a people whose entire existence centers around revolves around service to an evil master because they don't know what to do without one. Freedom sucks when all they know is service. They no longer have a purpose in life. And then... well, if you've seen the first two movies you can make a decent guess as to who the boss they end up with is.

This is not a movie you go see for its awesome special effects budget or its Heinlein-esque plot.This is a movie made for kids. That's not to say that adults can't enjoy it. I did. It's silly. It's fun. It's entertaining. It's just not sophisticated. It's a straight up good time.

As someone who hadn't seen the first two movies I wasn't sure what to expect out of our little yellow heroes. They were personable, fun and actually had personalities. It was weird, but after about the first ten minutes or so I stopped noticing that they couldn't speak. That's not quite right. They do verbalize a bit it's not in words. Well, except for Ba-na-na! I guess Bob just likes them. So does my four year old. I had to give her one when we got home.

The non-minion characters are fun as well. As someone who has been to a couple SF/F cons I got a kick out of seeing the movie's take on them with VillainCon. The con was both funny and entertaining, complete with the appearance of the celebrity on a big stage. Since the Minions were looking for a new boss, it was a logical place for them to go. Even their trip to the con was fun to watch. For the record: When Bob isn't eating bananas he's kind of a bad-ass.

As far as real complaints, I didn't have many. I went into the movie expecting campy and fun. I got campy and fun. This movie will never be a classic to me the way GI Joe: The Movie (1987) or the animated Transformers flick are, but I could see them becoming that for my daughters' generation. In fact, I'll predict: This movie (and probably the first two based on the way I've heard kids talk about them) will be one of the comfort movies that people like us are watching in twenty to thirty years to take them back to their childhood. Seriously. This could be the next generations' The Princess Bride or The Neverending Story. Only time will tell if I'm right, but I think I will be.

Bottom Line: 4.5 out of 5 plastic toys from McDonalds

NBC Universal, 2015

Minions is not yet available for purchase, but the first two movies can be found for purchase here:

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