Minions: The Rise of Gru releases on July 1st in the US (June 30th in Malaysia), but we watched an early screening of it for this review.
If for some bizarre reason, you’re not aware of what these yellow bean-like people are, Minions: The Rise of Gru is a sequel to Minions (2015), which itself is a prequel to 2010’s Despicable Me. Chronologically, the film takes place after Minions and before Despicable Me.
With that out of the way, let’s get into this review of Minions: The Rise of Gru!
Unlike its prequel, The Rise of Gru features a young Gru (Steve Carrell) as the film’s primary protagonist. However, fans of Minions shouldn’t fret as Kevin, Bob and Stuart are back and still a big focus of the movie, alongside a new, even chubbier Minion, Otto.
Even though most of the characters are pretty flat and one-dimensional, they’re so over the top and flamboyant that they’re really fun to watch. The film’s main antagonists are the Vicious Six, and they’re great. Even though our attention is divided between five of them (one of them was kicked out of the group), they do a nice job of commanding the audience’s attention. For example, one of the villains is a Nun, who uses nunchucks, and her name is literally Nun-chuck. Also, one of the members is a guy with one hand replaced with a lobster claw named Jean Clawed. During the credits, the theatre laughed because we saw that Jean Clawed is played by Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Overall, the film is very easy to watch and there are rather comedic moments here and there. Fans of Minions will absolutely love how wholesome this film can get. There’s also a pretty good message and lesson to learn from this movie, so this gets my seal of family-friendly approval.
Visuals and Animation
The Rise of Gru is extremely colourful and aesthetically pleasing. It takes place in the 70s, the peak of disco (one of the Vicious Six is literally named Belle Botom). The characters look vibrant and individually distinct. Also, the movie takes place just before and during Chinese New Year, so expect vibrant, auspicious backgrounds and environments.
Of course, the stars of the film are the Minions. They’re up to their usual Minions shenanigans, fumbling their tasks while being cute. Malaysian fans will also be in for a treat, as they’ll utter some familiar-sounding words in Minionese.
Minions aside, the human cast is very well animated. They’re extremely expressive and fun to watch. Just like Sing 2, Illumination’s previous animated film which came out last year, it’s just a joy to see how characters move and behave.
Also, special mention goes to the acupuncture lady played by Michelle Yeoh. She looks like a typical Chinese aunty, but like any character played by Michelle Yeoh, is a kung fu badass. Even though her fight scene was short, it was really fun to watch.
Sound and Music
The Rise of Gru also delivered in this department. The film’s cast is extremely star studded. You have Steve Carrell, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and even Mary Poppins herself Julie Andrews lending their voices to the movie. I’m happy to report that their performances match their resume and the expressiveness of the visuals.
Aside from the Minions’ wacky sounds that they make when they talk, the film uses quite a wide range of music. From rock to cabaret, most of these songs were from my parents’ generation, so I think older audiences would also find this aspect of the movie enjoyable.
At the end of the day, Minions: The Rise of Gru is a huge marketing tool to get more children to beg their parents and girlfriends to beg their boyfriends for Minions merch. On this front, I believe that the film has done a spectacular job in reminding fans why they love Minions so much. It’s cute, colourful, funny, wholesome and overall a very feel-good movie.
If you’re looking for a cinematic experience that will blow your mind, then this film is not for you. However, if you just want to have a good time, then Minions: The Rise of Gru will do the trick. If you’re forced into watching this by a Minions fan, don’t worry—it’s actually not as bad as you think, unless you have a burning hatred for Minions for some reason.
For more details, visit the movie’s website.
|Cute and funny, perfect movie for the whole family||If you hate Minions, you’re hatred will probably become worse|
|Visually appealing and expressively animated|
|Great music and performance from the actors|