12 years, that’s how long I’ve managed to avoid watching any form of media consisting of the Minions. I went from a kid who found them slightly amusing to a teen who would lose five years of his life with any mention of them to a young adult who is now eager to go to McDonald’s to get the Minions beach towel. Needless to say, some character development occurred there and I am actually very glad I decided to go through with this because it does give me the chance to talk about a certain topic in cinema and entertainment in general that I feel a lot of younger people should hear. That is, that whenever something so insanely popular comes out and dominates the world, instead of dismissing it and letting it annoy you to unimaginable lengths, try it out, who knows, you might even be pleasantly surprised.
Working in a movie theatre during the release of ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ is an experience that undoubtedly helped persuade me to watch the movie, it was the world’s greatest marketing job and it wasn’t even Illumination’s idea, it was all from the fans. Yes, even on the small island of Malta, this trend of guys wearing full tuxedos in the insane heat of the summer and coming to the theatre with literal bananas made it here. I served at least one group every shift for a good two weeks. Sometimes it was cute, other times I won’t lie, I couldn’t be bothered, mostly because they were more interested in taking pictures than ordering and there was a huge line behind them but that’s beside the point! It was quite the realization that the Minions are now considered nostalgic icons in the same vein as something like the ‘Shrek‘ franchise. Not saying the movies are in any way shape or form similar in quality but the impact these two franchises had on their target audience is quite similar, not to mention their massive impact on pop culture. Seeing as how this franchise is seemingly going to go on for eternity, I decided that it is high time I sit down and watch some of these movies to get what the fuss is about. I chose to watch the two ‘Minions‘ movies because I simply don’t have the time or mental capacity to watch five movies with these creatures in them and this way I’m going in chronological order, not that it will make any difference considering the plot of these movies.
The first ‘Minions‘ came out in 2015 and it grossed over a billion dollars, why, I cannot tell you. It features the super necessary origins of these guys and their mission of finding a supervillain boss. After literally taking over England and dethroning the Queen, they find a young Gru and follow him. So this is how much of a priority plot is to these movies. What the hell is Gru doing in England and how does the new movie take place in San Francisco. What’s extra weird is how many British characters are in this movie, you would think they’re still in England but they are not. Anyways, the first movie is very much dependent on how much you like these guys and I don’t know who would answer in such a way where an hour and thirty minutes of nothing but Minions is something genuinely enjoyable to them. The sequel subtitled ‘The Rise of Gru’ sees a change of pace as the Minions aren’t as much of a main focus anymore. That being said, I feel like they were much more enjoyable here than in their own movie. This franchise is so absurd at bizarre at times that you have to switch your brain off and go with the flow. Minion chickens? Why the hell not? This is a movie that goes for the craziest and most nonsensical ideas and it doesn’t really care and I for one liked that. It’s aware of the type of movie it is but even then it still made some changes to improve itself from the first movie. The stylistic choices here were fun, I liked all the references to 1970s pop culture even though children today will not understand them, hell not even I understood all of them. The animation itself is a huge upgrade from that first movie, the colours feel much more alive here than they did before, and the cities also looked wonderfully detailed. In terms of Gru and the Vicious 6, I don’t really have anything to say, they’re obviously not written in any way that warrants discussion.
Overall, I feel like now after having seen them in action, the Minions don’t bother me anymore, I don’t look at them and groan, I look at them and I chuckle like “oh, it’s those guys!”. I mean, is ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ a good movie, that’s debatable. Is it a fun time? Also debatable to some. All I know is that I managed to have fun and not be pessimistic about it and again, I know we are literally discussing a children’s cartoon here but part of growing up is realizing when to just train your brain off and enjoy stupidity. I know, a wild concept. Thank you Illumination for opening up my mind. Will I watch the ‘Despicable Me’ movies anytime soon? Probably not but for what it’s worth, I don’t hate the Minions anymore.
‘Minions: The Rise of Gru‘ is now showing in cinemas.