‘Minions’ is mindless muck

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Minions (2015)

Directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin

5.5/10  PG

Everybody’s favorite evil henchmen (they are all men, too…how did they sustain a population for centuries?) are back in the cute and fluffy and completely non-substantive “Minions.”

minions-movieSince the dawn of time, the Minions (all voiced by co-director Pierre Coffin) have served the biggest and baddest villains they could find—the T-Rex, the neanderthal, Napoleon Bonaparte. When they make their way to Orlando for the 1968 International Villain Convention, they find their new master in Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), who takes them back to London to help her and her husband Herb (Jon Hamm) steal the Queen’s (Jennifer Saunders) crown.

“Minions” is a shameful money grab, meant to make small children laugh. But after that, there’s nothing to it. The simple story leaves much to be desired. It’s even worse than “Despicable Me 2,” with its similar lack of plot. And as comical as Coffin’s vocal performance is, it’s still an unintelligible mix of Spanish and gibberish. I didn’t think an American movie could survive with three main characters who don’t speak a lick of English. But box office projections show “Minions” making much more than it deserves. And when we Minions-movie-3do hear our native tongue spoken (from big names like Geoffrey Rush, Allison Janney, and Michael Keaton, in tiny roles), the mindless writing from Brian Lynch (“Puss in Boots”) doesn’t give us much to laugh at or cheer for. “Minions” will quickly be forgotten, unlike its Pixar predecessor “Inside Out” (or any other Pixar movie, for that matter). Co-director Kyle Balda even worked for Pixar, as an animator, on films like “A Bug’s Life” and “Monster’s Inc.” Both are far superior in every way (including visually) than this. But if your kid owns one of Walmart’s 7,000 Minions shirts, backpacks, sippy cups, or other merchandise, they’re sure to laugh their little butts off here. Just don’t expect to enjoy it much yourselves.

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