Film #41: MINIONS
3 out of 5 stars
Director Pierre Coffin (along with THE LORAX’s Kyle Balda) returns to mine the unexpected popularity of these little guys. With an impressive cast of Sandra Bullock (who is the sole “miscast” standout), Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, Geoffrey Rush, and Steve Carrell, MINIONS is essentially a one-note joke that gets put on life support for what amounts to a well-orchestrated “cash grab.” While the film is a charming 90 minutes or so, the film literally has no real trajectory. The film is essentially a series of “set pieces” strung together. Supporting cast is a virtual “who’s who” of voice-over talent (Carlos Alazraqui, Jim Cumming, Jess Harnell, John Kassir, and Laraine Newman particularly). The film looks great – particularly the crowd scenes – and is, at time, quite funny. But coming after DESPICABLE ME 1 & 2 (which are great), it all just feels flat. What I don’t understand is how the film came in budgeted at a projected $74 million? I assume a big chunk of that was spent on music rights since so many well-known and popular songs are used in the film. Perfect for kids and folks who just find the Minions adorable. Just know going in… the proceedings are not what they should be.