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Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

Fresh from steal­ing the show in the De­spi­ca­ble Me flicks, the yel­low, cud­dly, in­com­pre­hen­si­ble hench­men are granted their own fea­ture length ad­ven­ture.

But an­i­mated movie spin-offs have a patchy history at best — the likes of Puss in Boots and Pen­guins of Mada­gas­car fail­ing to build on their orig­i­nal source ma­te­rial.

A chal­lenge, then, for co-di­rec­tors Pierre Cof­fin and Kyle Balda, but at least the pair have pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence in the genre — the for­mer co-di­rect­ing both De­spi­ca­ble Me films and the lat­ter in­flict­ing The Lo­rax upon the world.

Puss in Boots writer Brian Lynch also penned the story, which sees Minions Stu­art, Kevin and Bob re­cruited by su­per vil­lain­ess Scar­let Overkill to help her fiendish plot to take over the world.

We’re in ori­gin tale ter­ri­tory as the pre­quel fol­lows our crazy char­ac­ters from the dawn of time all the way to the swing­ing six­ties of Lon­don.

A neat run­ning gag in the eye-catch­ing pro­logue sees the clumsy Minions cause the down­fall of fa­mous his­tor­i­cal icons, in­clud­ing Genghis Khan and Napoleon.

Truth be told, though, the story’s as slight and thin as den­tal floss, with the cre­ators in­stead choos­ing to rely on the ran­dom ac­tions and sights gags pro­vided by the de­mented, pint­sized hench­men.

Yes, once again Stu­art, Kevin and Bob break wind, fall over, find hu­mour in the small­est of things and gen­er­ally cause may­hem ev­ery­where they go.

It’s very much an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ap­proach’ and the spin-off man­ages to avoid the com­mon rule that greater screen time for side­kicks lessens their ap­peal as our Minions are just too en­dear­ing to de­spise.

They’re helped no end, though, by the ad­di­tion of Bul­lock’s an­tag­o­nist, with the for­mer Os­car win­ner sound­ing like she’s hav­ing a ball as the bee­hive-haired, thin-limbed evil­doer with ob­ses­sions on tak­ing down the Royal fam­ily.

Also lend­ing their dul­cet tones to pro­ceed­ings are Jon Hamm (Scar­let’s hub­bie Herb), Michael Keaton (Wal­ter) and Steve Coogan (Pro­fes­sor Flux).

Jen­nifer Saun­ders has an ab­so­lutely fab­u­lous time voic­ing the Queen and Aussie Ge­of­frey Rush cheer­fully nar­rates the pro­logue.

Cof­fin and Balda show a keen eye for a mem­o­rable vis­ual — even Steve Carell’s grumpy Gru would be im­pressed with hard­ware that in­cludes a lava-spout­ing gun and the fi­nale tips its hat to Godzilla and other crea­ture fea­tures.

It’ll prob­a­bly take a few re­peat view­ings to catch all of the back­ground gags as Minions bounces along at a blis­ter­ing pace with hy­per­ki­netic energy.

Kids will love it and adults won’t spend too much time pin­ing for time spent else­where, not least be­cause they’ll be tap­ping their feet and bob­bing their heads to the ace, vintage-flavoured sound­track.

rat­ing This great lit­tle de­vice that can form a full home se­cu­rity sys­tem — it has a night vi­sion cam­era, mo­tion sen­sor and siren and with Z-Wave ac­ces­sories, it can turn lights, TVs, etc on and off, so it seems like you’re home.

It all runs from a free app and you can even talk through its speaker by speak­ing into your phone, and give mis­be­hav­ing kids a fright!

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