Duration: 87 minutes
Plot: Minions: The Rise Of Gru follows a 11-and-a-half-year-old Gru trying to make his name in the world of villains and how he assembled his team of a scientist, and his yellow indestructible henchmen, minions.
Review: The concept of Minions: The Rise Of Gru is essentially the same as its predecessors, something that will remind fans of Gru's adorable relationship with his daughters and the minions. The film also gives unexplored lore about how minions and Gru got together. The origin of a supervillain who is also emotional and humorous, but unfortunately, the level of humour has deteriorated.
Set in 1976 California, the film begins with the story of Gru's (Steve Carell) favourite villain group and how they come to recruit a new guy into their group. Gru sees it as his chance to become a member of the evil supergroup, the Vicious 6, however, given his age they don't take him seriously. To prove his point, Gru steals their greatest possession an emerald stone with ancient zodiac powers, and waits for them to praise him. However, not everything goes as planned because minions aren't really that reliable.
The Vicious 6 decide to take down Gru, meanwhile, their former member elderly Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin) who was supposedly killed also returns to steal the zodiac stone. While the stone is with neither of them, the minions set out on their own adventure, one to find the stone he lost and the others to kid Gru who has been kidnapped and chaos ensues till the end.
The makers have also included a lot of era-appropriate callbacks from costumes, music and the setting including a step-by-step video reel of how to leave kung-fu. It wasn't the best moment but it wasn't the worst either. I wished to get past it but Asian culture was pretty central to the film, given the stone did have powers of the Asian Zodiac Guardians. The makers didn't even bother to call it Chinese, throughout the movie, it is just Asia.
Carell is amusing as ever with his high-pitched voice, and the minions voiced by Pierre Coffin are a hoot whether it is Kevin, Bob, Stuart or Auto. The film nails the emotional bits of the screenplay, not only with Gru but also with the Minions, and his mentor Wild Knuckles but the comedy is not at par. There is enough for the adults to keep them engaged while it mostly caters to the young kids who don't care about the plotline.
The film has a few glorious moments as part of the running gag of how stupid minions are yet so smart and I guess that is all one can expect from the fifth film in a franchise. I wasn't really the target audience for the film, but I am not sure if kids should be watching any of the latter Despicable Me franchise releases.
Overall, Minions: The Rise Of Gru makes you want to watch the original Despicable Me and hope that the makers will invest in some good writers for the franchise.