Directed by:  Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, and Geoffrey Rush

The Despicable Me franchise is one of the most successful animated series of all time.  The films are well made with interesting plots and fast-paced, biting dialogue.  As characters, the minions have been an integral part of the Despicable Me movies.  However, the focus of the films has largely been on Steve Carrell’s lead character Gru.  Unfortunately, without Gru’s strong presence, the little pill-shaped minions are not as entertaining.

The minions were created thousands of years ago to serve the most powerful, evil villain around.  They flocked to the most powerful villains in each age.  The minions served the mighty T-Rex until they accidentally killed him; they worked for Dracula until they surprised him for his birthday with a cake and a window full of sunshine; and they even served the abominable snowman.  The minions cause so much mischief that they unintentionally cause the demise of every boss they work for.  They end up stranded in the snow in a remote location.  Without a leader, the minions are listless, depressed and without direction.

Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide to find a new evil boss for the minions to follow.  They set out on a journey across the world in search of the best villain.  They land in New York.  While watching television, they discover that a secret super villain convention, Villain-Con, is being held in Orlando, Florida.  The keynote speaker is supervillain Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock).  Kevin, Stuart and Bob hitchhike to Villain-Con.  While there, they impress Scarlett Overkill and begin to work as minions for the world’s first female super villain.  Scarlett and her husband Herb (Jon Hamm) want the minions to steal Queen Elizabeth’s crown to prove their worth.  The minions set out to please their new boss and find a home for all of their friends.

Minions is a bright, colorful movie that children will undoubtedly love.  There is plenty of the slapstick comedy audiences have come to expect from the minions.  The problem, however, is that minions are henchmen.  By definition, they are not and should not be the main story.  The minions are only as good as the boss that they serve.  Sandra Bullock is fine as a supervillain.  (Although, it does seem that having a plot with a female villain plotting to obtain a queen’s crown and working a killer dress is a little dated).  Bullock, unfortunately does not have the same material that Carrell had, and Scarlett Overkill is not as interesting or as funny as Gru.

Without a great villain, audiences are left to focus on the minions.  They are cute and funny, but rely primarily on physical comedy since they do not speak a discernible language.  They speak Minionese, which is a weird mix of Spanish, English, Japanese, gibberish and other languages.  The film almost hearkens back to the style of Charlie Chaplin in silent films.  Their comedy is primarily limited to physical hijinks, and the plot lacks the depth of Despicable Me.  The movie has occasional humorous moments, but it is a shallow film that does not offer adults the same entertainment as the other films in the franchise.  Moreover, we do not even get one of the great musical numbers that the minions are known for.

Minions earns a 0.09% rating.  It is a cute film, but it lacks the magic of Gru.