Our story opens at the beginning of time, where the Minions have been attaching themselves to evil, pledging their allegiance and loyalty to whoever they believe to be nefarious and tyrannical. Moving through the ages, their clumsy nature has left them without a master, and therefore, without any sense of purpose. Until the courageous Minion Kevin decides enough is enough, and sets out in to the big bad world with accomplices Bob and Stuart, to find their species a new barbaric villain to join forces with. Which leads them to the Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock) and her husband Herb (Jon Hamm) who have their hearts set on stealing the Queen’s Crown Jewels in London – and require the assistance of our favourite, miniature yellow friends.
There’s a distinctive exuberance to this Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda title, a playful nature that makes for such entertaining viewing. It’s straightforward and revels in a simplistic comedic approach, which effectively consists of having clumsy, mischievous and inherently impish creatures that appeal to the big kid in all of us. It’s what makes their evilness so comical, as they become entwined with such deplorable antagonists, counteracting their supposed harmlessness. Talking of which, Bob is one of the best characters you’ll see grace the screen this year. He triggers so much empathy from the viewer that you’re almost hoping for a ‘no Minions were harmed during the making of this movie’ line during the closing credits just to feel somewhat assured he’s still doing okay.
Bob is emblematic of a film that has provided some much needed, distinctive personality traits to our protagonists. It was always one of the biggest fears, as the Minions have always just merged into one, unable to be defined individually, but that’s not the case at all in this endeavour. It’s essential this be the case too, as it allows for the audience to emotionally invest in the characters at hand, to help immerse ourselves in this world and narrative. But with Kevin, Bob and Stuart – each have a certain set of sensibilities that sets that apart and allows us to differentiate between them – all while implemented with a minimum contrivance.
Minions is simply good fun – nothing more, and nothing less. It revels in a universal brand of comedy, with slapstick a prevalent source of humour. There’s more than enough to engage with and enjoy, no matter how old you are nor where you’re from. It’s just so immensely silly and absurd and outlandish and illusory and completely nonsensical. In the best way possible.