Minions The Rise of Gru Review: A Soulless Billboard For A Theme Park

After Lightyear crashed and burned at the box office, all eyes were on Minions for supremacy in the popcorn flick for kids arena.  

Photo by Photo Credit: Illumination Enter – © 2020 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved.

After Disney decided to frontload all of their marketing on a Lesbian couple getting married and raising a child (presumably from the ether) and then watching Chris Evans call anyone who had a problem with that an “idiot who will die off like the dinosaurs”, all Universal had to do was show a poster with a bunch of one-eyed turds and make more money in 3 days than Disney made in 3 weeks.

While people will certainly watch this movie to spite Pixar, that doesn’t exactly mean the film is that much better than what their competitors are offering. Minions: The Rise of Gru is a film that takes place in 1976 that focuses on an 11-year-old Gru (Steve Carrell) on his route to becoming a supervillain.

One day, Gru receives the invitation of a lifetime when he is invited to try out for the Vicious 6, a supervillain team led by Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson). The Vicious 6 are looking to find their latest member after they betrayed their founder Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin). After being rejected by the group for being too young, Gru steals the Zodiac Stone, a stone connected to the Chinese zodiac in order to make a statement to the group. Gru is now on the run from both the Vicious 6 and Wild Knuckles as they look to regain the Stone which wields great power.

Photo by Photo Credit: Illumination Enter – © 2020 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved.

I’m someone who generally avoids children’s films knowing that I am not the target audience, most parents are looking for a film to distract their children for 90 minutes and that is the best thing I can say about The Rise of Gru. It is certainly a film to keep your kids entertained but don’t expect anything more. 

Much of the film feels phoned in by the voice actors, you don’t get the sense that this is anything more than a payday for any of the voice actors. There isn’t much of a story here rather than it being a series of hijinks that happen throughout the movie. This is the fifth movie in this franchise and for Universal Pictures, the movies have become nothing more than a commercial to attract more people to their theme parks in Hollywood and Orlando.

The film barely gives any real focus to The Vicious 6 as its antagonists because the film isn’t about them, it is about the wacky adventures of the lovable yellow minions. The film is marketed toward an audience that doesn’t care about the fundamentals of filmmaking which is generally why I stay away from these movies as I can’t dumb myself down enough to give it a pass.

Photo by Photo Credit: Illumination Enter – © 2020 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved.

Is this film better than Lightyear? Yes, but that isn’t saying much. One movie was a film that tried to groom your kids into “alternative lifestyles” and the other is a billboard for a theme park. Both movies are equally soulless, they are just soulless for different reasons. 




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