Minions Movie Review : The Rise of Gru

Minions Movie Review : The Rise of Gru, ” 1976 is the year. If I had seen it that year, I would have laughed at myself and insisted on seeing it repeatedly until I was six years old. Unfortunately, I’m no longer six years old. On the other hand, I still have a sense of humor that is similar to that. As a result, this most recent (and perhaps final) installment of the Despicable Me Universe (DMU) felt like it was crafted specifically for my less mature sensibilities.

It appeared as if a checklist had been created specifically for me. Afros and 1970s-style clothing? Check! Stunning females in action? Check! Awful wordplay and puns? That’s it! A disco song? I enjoy it! Nun jokes that might be violent and blasphemous? Oh, my!

Minions Movie Review
Minions Movie Review. Photo Credit : nytimes.com

Readers of this blog are aware of my fondness for the Minions, the hopelessly loyal yellow, pill-shaped troublemakers (Steve Carell). They make me giggle, and I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about that. Kevin Le Minion and his one-eyed and two-eyed friends have traveled back in time to assist the “eleven and three-quarters” years old Gru after their own prequel, “Minions,” and a pit stop for the uninspired present-day sibling rivalry plot of “Despicable Me 3.” He is jokingly referred to as “mini-boss” by them.

When he’s not pondering how his staff “acquired so much denim” for their attire, Gru fantasizes about joining The Vicious 6, a group of villains assembled by Wild Knuckles that resembles The Avengers (Alan Arkin).

Minions Movie Review

In “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” 1976 is the year. If I had seen it that year, I would have laughed at myself stupid and insisted on seeing it repeatedly until I was six years old. Unfortunately, I’m no longer six years old. On the other hand, I still have a sense of humor that is similar to that. As a result, this most recent (and perhaps final) installment of the Despicable Me Universe (DMU) felt like it was crafted specifically for my less mature sensibilities.

We witness Wild Knuckles and his band of adventurers in action in a far-off location. They are there to retrieve the “Zodiac Stones,” a necklace made of diamonds. When it is found, it will provide the Vicious 6 limitless power on the eve of the Chinese New Year. Given all the groan-inducing needle dips in this series, I was expecting The Zodiac Stones to be accompanied by the Floaters’ astrology lesson/trash classic “Float On.” Sadly, the filmmakers are not too creative. Even though “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc. was released in 1980, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” utilizes it twice.

Wild Knuckles is betrayed by teammate Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson), who brutally argues that honor among thieves is a myth before tossing him to his alleged death from their plane after he has risked his life to acquire the gems. Belle resembles Cleopatra Jones due to her constantly changing outfit and big Afro (animated with an astonishing amount of texture).

The names of the other four members are also pun-based. Danny Trejo’s Stronghold, Lucy Lawless’ Nun-Chuck, Dolph Lundgren’s Vengeance, a Nordic strongman, and a person with a giant lobster claw for a hand are among the characters. Steven Seagal provides his voice for Jean-Clawed. I kid you not! He has Jean-Claude Van Damme as his voice. I warned you that this film wasn’t very clever.

The Vicious 6—I mean Five—are searching for a considerably younger replacement now that the significantly older Wild Knuckles is out of the picture. Gru submits an application for the job and gets a reply on an 8-track cassette that self-destructs. His future coworker Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) is there as he enters the record store that serves as Belle Bottom’s hideout. The key to the hidden location is a 45 of Linda Ronstadt’s rendition of “You’re No Good,” which Nefario gives to Gru. Gru gets fired despite having only finished junior high, but not before he has stolen the Zodiac Stones. Belle and her group go after him to get them back.

Minions Movie Review
Minions Movie Review. Photo Credit: nytimes.com

Unbelievably, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” also has two other stories with complex plots. The first focuses on the surviving Wild Knuckles’ quest for vengeance in San Francisco, and the second has the Minions studying kung fu with Master Chow (Michelle Yeoh) in order to rescue Gru after he has been abducted. Well, the two kinds of fit together because Wild Knuckles has kidnapped Gru in an effort to gain back what is properly his. Otto, the newest and chattiest of the Minions, exchanged the jewels for a pet rock without Mr. Knuckles’ knowledge.

Gru is punished with a form of pain that I would gladly put up with: He is attached to a massive record player that will continuously spin for 48 hours. The greatest disco song ever recorded, is the Andrea True Connection’s “More More More.”

Gru begs, “Please don’t call my mother for a ransom; she’ll probably pay you to keep me.” Julie Andrews reprises her role as Gru’s sarcastic mother, who, as usual, has no use for either her son or his minions. In any case, The Vicious 6 arrive to take a pound of her flesh. My type of meta: watching “The Sound of Music” actress get her ass kicked by a nun! I tell you what, that’s one way to handle a situation like Maria!

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” moves at a breakneck pace, just like “Minions.” This time, though, it’s a little less taxing and really benefits the movie. The humor is delivered at just the right time, preventing the viewer from having too much time to consider how absurd Matthew Fogel’s screenplay is.

The animation is remarkable, from the cute appearance of little Gru to the exquisitely depicted Chinatown of the City by the Bay. He possesses the same large, expressive eyes that light up his “little gurls'” emotive faces. Carell does a great job of making his Gru voice less assertive and younger. Henson and the rest of the cast appear to be having a blast, and their joyous energy is contagious.

You might find this one pleasant even if you can’t stand the Minions (who are once again spoken in “Minionese” by Pierre Coffin). especially if you feel young enough to find humor in all the silly slapstick while being old enough to understand the jokes from 1976. The DMU is brought up to date, modernizing it and eliminating the need for any additional films, if nothing else. Unless this one generates a lot of revenue, that is.

Now playing in theaters.

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