Not despicable enough
released 16 November 2015 | U | blu-ray/dvd Directors Pierre Coffin, Kyle balda Cast sandra bullock, Jon Hamm, Pierre Coffin, michael Keaton, allison Janney, Geoffrey rush
After two Despicable Me films, the Minions have finally got their own movie, telling their tale from prehistory through to their first meeting with Gru.
It opens with the basics of the Minions’ backstory. Always looking for the biggest and baddest nasty to serve, but nearly always killing him in the process, the Minions have followed dinosaurs, Egyptian pharaohs and Dracula before finally heading into safe isolation in Antarctica. But by the ’60s the Minions are succumbing to depression without a bad guy to lead them, so Kevin, Stuart and Bob head out into the world to find them a villain. After getting taken on as henchmen by Sandra Bullock’s Scarlet Overkill, they’re packed off to steal her the crown from the Tower of London – a job which unsurprisingly doesn’t quite go to plan.
It’s a fun effort that does an unexpectedly good job of expanding the Minions from loveable sidekicks to film-carrying movie stars, with Jennifer Saunders’ arm-wrestling, beer-swilling Queen a particular highlight. There’s also a great swinging ’60s soundtrack. Unfortunately this just-toolightweight film doesn’t discover its heart until the very end, when the Minions finally meet the young Gru, and you realise what’s been missing all along.
Extras Three shorts: “Cro Minion” and “Competition”, both further adventures in “Minions being amusing”; and “Binky Nelson Unpacified” a look at the baby of the villainous Nelson family that’s the best of the bunch. “Jingle Bells Minions Style” is a fun singalong with Minions-speech lyrics. The rest of the extras are buried inside rabbit holes of menus – an interactive map contains a variety of goodies from storyboards and galleries to producers’ comments and “fun facts”, but be prepared for a lot of button pressing. Finally there’s a “Behind The Goggles” look at the various filmmaking departments, but again it’s short on content and long on interminable clicking. Rhian Drinkwater
The carpet in inventor Herb Overkill’s lab has the same pattern as the carpet of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
Sadly, Corbyn couldn’t make it.