These little things are everywhere. From Amazon packaging, pyjama bottoms and McDonald’s toys, you can’t avoid these little yellow minions even if you want to. It’s odd to think that these yellow figures, incapable of speaking a solid language are carrying a movie but hey, weirder things have happened.
Their solo adventure follows them before they meet Gru in the Despicable me films, instead charting their relatively brief life before a disastrous stint serving the French in a Napoleonic-era setting which drives them into the frosty coldness of isolation without a master. In this highly depressing state three minions – leader Kevin, musical Stuart and adorable little Bob – decide to find them a master.
The story itself is relatively simple. Find master, get master, do disastrous heist for master, save other minions. It’s a simple story which will delight the many children and grown ups who have come to love the minions. In this respect the film succeeds. It’s stylized funny storytelling that does what it says on the tin.
However the film falters in being narratively even… or funny. The best moments are when we are exploring the yellow peoples’ limitations (beware for a particularly hilarious ‘torture’ scene) or the earlier montage of the minions coping with different time periods. The human characters are by comparison fairly one-dimensional. To a certain extent, the minions are too, but at least we aren’t meant to believe they are complex evil villains.
It’s a good children’s movie, bright and zany and full of moments that will make it a delight. But even compared to the other Despicable Me films, it’s all fairly one noted. It’s funny and cute… and that’s about it. Seems about right for a film with such adorable little yellow people as its leads.