Just like the space dolls on “Toy Story”, in the Despicable Me films, the supposed supporting players, “Minions”, are now running the asylum.
Gru (Voice – Steve Carrell) is now officially retired from devising dastardly plots to steal the moon and so forth. He now lives peacefully at home looking after his cute as a button animated kids Margo, Edith and Agnes, life is good and world domination now seems but a distant dream.
Enter stage left Lucy Wilde (Voice – Kirsten Wiig) from the AVL (Anti Villain League) tasked with finding out what occurred in the Arctic Circle where a Mutagen PX-41 was stolen using a giant magnet, as you do.
Re-activating a villain to catch a villain is an old trick but Gru is not that interested, he enjoys his life as a devoted father, the kids, the minions, all is good.
Meanwhile Dr Nefario (Voice – Russell Brand), Gru’s devoted crazy boffin type, decides to leave Gru’s employment, he “missed being evil” and leaves in quite spectacular style, as long as you have time to wait.
Eventually Gru bows to the inevitable and partners with the under cover Wilde, in a shopping mall Bakery “Bake my day”, enabling them to stake out a possible uber villain, El Macho (Voice – Benjamin Bratt).
As you can imagine the plot descends into chaos from here and nothing runs smoothly. To detail the plot would be an exercise in pointless surrealism, so safe to say this is used as a framework on which to hang some great visual and voice gags whilst providing a convenient stage for the star of the show, the Minions.
Poor old Gru, upstaged in his own film by the very characters that should be his underlings, never mind, the audience gets the benefit.
From vacuuming French maid minions, to YMCA outfitted groups, followed by an almost surreal song, sung in a made up language “frenchstyle”, it is obvious the writers were given free rein with their favourite characters. At times it feels like the writers and animators were fuelled by more than diet coke but overall this works a treat.
There are real laughs and you may never be able to say the word “banana” or “bottom” without thinking of a yellow minion in the future. This is inspired, daft fun.
There is a downside in that the story, however silly, does get to play second fiddle to the Minions ever increasing screen-time and arguably the film does lose it’s heart somewhat. This will be of no concern to the ankle-biters but apart from good laughs, this misses the under the cover adult depth, so beloved of Pixar movies.
With world wide box office of $918m, second only to Iron Man 3 in 2013, expect to see more despicable behaviour on the big screen sometime soon.
Great family fun, pushing the minions to centre stage provides great laughs, occasionally to the detriment of the movie as a whole but most will not care. When the supporting cast are this cute, funny and adorable, redundant super-villians are the least of our worries