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MINIONS

SYNOPSIS: The purpose of the single-cell organisms the Minions, is to serve despicable masters which is what they have through the ages. Now they are without a master and a purpose and are depressed. Until a Minion called Kevin concocts a plan to find a new despicable master. Together with ukulele-playing Stuart and lovable Bob, they set out on their mission. On their travels, they discover that the world's first female super-villain, Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock) is appearing at VillainCon in Orlando, Florida....

Review by Louise Keller:
Wonderfully absurd, brilliantly inventive and totally adorable, the Minions is literally a laugh a minute. It's a sparkling combo of clever scripting and execution brought to life with a great voice cast and an innate sense of the ridiculous. The Minions speak only Gobbledygook (apart from a few words), so much of the humour is visual. Consequently, it's quite a feat for these banana-loving critters to portray so much personality. Nothing is overdone: the sketches are brief and I love the way music jokes are integrated. Having a purpose is the theme and the film zips along with great energy and pizzazz, pulling in ideas from all directions.

Driven by Geoffrey Rush's narration, the tone is set from the outset, as the origins of the diminutive yellow single-cell organisms are outlined, including their need to serve a despicable master. But it's not easy to keep a job in any line of work and the fun begins as we watch the Minions over the ages inadvertently losing their jobs before finding a sanctuary in the Antarctica.

With their bright yellow demeanour, goggle eyes and denim overalls, all the Minions look similar, so the visual differentiation of the three main characters Kevin, Stuart and Bob is crucial. Kevin is the tallest; Stuart has one eye and plays a ukulele; Bob is short and squat with one brown and one green eye. The main action begins when Kevin has his light-bulb moment, addressing the Minions' depression to find a new despicable master.

I love the set up, when the Minions hitch a ride to VillainCom with a family that brings surprises. The timeframe is the late 60s, offering countless opportunities for hilarity, especially in London, where the Minions' mission is the steal the Queen's crown for their new master, the super-villain Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock in Cruella devil mode).

My favourite sequence is when the Tower of London guards are hypnotized, breaking out in song and dance wearing nothing but boxers singing the title song from the musical Hair. There are many highlights and I love the little throwaways, like the Fab Four crossing Abbey Road to the song Love Me Do, a serenade to a sewer rodent, Three Little Pigs fantasy sequence, the Queen cracking jokes at the pub and using the Royal Corgis as a football.

The ending is inspired. You don't need a kid to see this film.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

MINIONS (PG)
(US, 2015)

VOICES: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan

PRODUCER: Janet Healy, Christopher Meledandri

DIRECTOR: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

SCRIPT: Bryan Lynch

CINEMATOGRAPHER: n/a

EDITOR: Claire Dodgson

MUSIC: Heitor Pereira

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Not credited

RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 18, 2015







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