Minions: The Rise of Gru
review by Bobby Blakey
Back in 2010 the world was introduced to a new kind of supervillain in Despicable Me. Like a lot of animated features it spawned a franchise, but this time not only did it get 2 sequels and a rumored upcoming fourth, it also featured a spin-off shifting the focus to the popular Minions characters. Now they are bringing the two back together for a prequel with Minions: The Rise of Gru featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Ala Arkin, Taraji P. Henson, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Russell Brand, Michelle Yeoh, Julie Andrews and the iconic voice of Pierre Coffin as the Minions.
Minions: The Rise Of Gru follows the untold story of one 12-year-old’s dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain. In the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru is growing up in the suburbs is a fanboy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6 and he hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. Luckily, he gets some mayhem-making backup from his loyal followers, the Minions. Together, Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto—a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—deploy their skills as they and Gru build their first lair, experiment with their first weapons and pull off their first missions.
I have loved every film in this franchise and I am happy to say that this one is no different. It’s funny how they have cleverly taken the focus to the Minions into the prequels circling it back to the original Despicable Me. With the end of the previous Minions film we were introduced to 12 year old Gru at the end that leads directly into the building relationship and villainy of he and the Minions. Make no mistake this film keeps a lot of the focus on the adventures of the Minions themselves, but also allows the young Gru to get his own story.
The new characters in the Vicious 6 are hilarious and clever. I was excited beyond belief to get this voice in on the fun, but have to admit my one issue with the film is that Trejo, Lundgren and Van Damme have little to no dialogue and felt wasted. The characters are front and center and a blast to watch in all their 70s Kung Fu glory. The film juggles the balance of a Kung Fu flick, super villain origin and all out fun chaos. There are plenty of laughs, action and kung-fu that takes this film to a whole new level of the franchise while still capturing everything we have loved before.
The animation is beautiful and vibrant as always. They are always filled with a bright color palate and amazing attention to detail. I love this world and wouldn’t think that I would be enjoying this one more than the previous, but I think this is my favorite of the franchise to date and hope this isn’t the end of Gru and the Minions.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including outtakes, extended scenes, character profiles, featurettes and so much more. Join the chaos of the martial arts mayhem when Minions: The Rise of Gru available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on September 6th from Universal Home Entertainment.