I took Isabel to see the Minion movie today, and it was about as expected.  Some very funny moments but basically a one joke thing, an exploitation of their popularity in Despicable Me.  Isabel said she really enjoyed it, but there were only 4 or 5 points which elicited spontaneous laughter, and there was never an uproarious wave of it sweeping through the cinema.

Dracula's Birthday Party - part of a very funny montage

Dracula’s Birthday Party – part of a very funny montage

I liked the opening, the explanation of their evolution.  It explained a lot, and was funny.

I thought setting it in 1968 was inspired.  Of course, it had to be sometime prior to 2010 or so, it was, after all, a prequel.  But there wasn’t so much to make fun of in the ’70s, the 80s and the ’90s.  1968 is to years what bananas are too food, what farts are to bodily functions, what Jewishness is to ethnicities, what monkeys are to animals, what grandmothers are to relatives – it’s inherently the funny one.

There were lots of hippie jokes, and London fashion scene jokes, and even a little dig at Richard Nixon.  It also allowed for a lot of great music.  One of my favorite scenes was when they were breaking into the Tower of London to steal the crown and hypnotized the very overweight guards into stripping down to their underwear and performing a dance number from ‘Hair.’

Of course, nobody had vanity plates in 1968 but a family of villains with Luv 2 Rob was just unavoidable, and I’m sure nobody in their target audience spotted the historical anomaly.

The King Bob scene was a brilliant bit of self parody, as the whole long speech he gave in Minionese elicited no more than puzzled looks but all he needed to do was shout “King Bob!” to get a rousing cheer.

The coronation of Scarlett Overkill was, it seemed to me, pretty much stolen from Johnny English but there were a lot of Minion touches.

Overall, worth seeing because it will keep the kids entertained for an hour and a half.  It’s just a spinoff from Despicable Me and probably doesn’t deserve a sequel of its own, but there’s no doubt in my mind it will get one. Maybe several.


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