Movie Review – Minions: The Rise of Gru


If you can’t read the word ‘Banana’ without the image of a yellow tic-tac wearing denim comes into your head you might be a little familiar with the Minions. The yellow henchmen from the Despicable Me franchise have been the subject of endless merchandising since their first appearance over a decade ago. Now they are coming back to continue their prequel series but does it hench?

Minions: The Rise of Gru is now the 5th instalment of the Despicable Me franchise that began in 2010. Back then the Minions were a background supporting cast for the main character of Gru voiced by Dunder Mifflin’s Michael Scott. Gru, a life long evil genius supervillain in the first film locked deep in an effort to both steal a shrink ray to then steal the moon. In an elaborate plot to steal the shrink ray from another supervillain to do it we saw Gru adopt 3 orphan girls and in his best Grinch impersonation his heart grew 3 sizes.

Across the next few films we saw Gru’s family grow as he went from supervillain to hunting supervillains as he became employed by the Anti-Villain League. While the motivation remained the same across all the films Gru was supported by his loyal evil scientist Dr Nefario (not to be confused with Ratchet & Clank’s Dr Nefarious) and a seemingly endless supply of indestructible but equally stupid minions.

Rounding out at 3 films of ‘The Gru Trilogy’ the Minions were the stand out characters with endless merchandising possibilities and a vernacular only matched by Ubisoft Rabbids or the Sims. It wasn’t long before the Minions were subject to their own standalone film to address a lot of the unanswered questions like what exactly are the Minions and where did they come from? The answers to that were exceedingly simple.

The minions are an evolved species that was around at the same time as cells became sea life and sea life evolved to have legs. Mostly unchanged since the dinosaur age the Minions had one driving factor – to find the most powerful villain and to serve them. Working their way through history from T-Rex to Napoleon most of the Minion’s did not survive their help until they reached the modern age of villainy.

Picking up from the back of the first Minion film aka the 4th film and first in the Minions prequels and set in the late 1970’s, the Minions have discovered their long time master of Gru – the younger version. Still in primary school Gru’s aspirations are still firmly set on Super-villainy with him even having pin-ups of his favourite super-villain team the Vicious Six made up of members including Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Danny Trejo to name a few (yes that list was good enough not to use made up names).

The film, itself unlike the first films which were a Gru story and the previous Minions film that was definitely a Minions story, floats between the two as nearly two short movies instead of one larger one. While still enjoyable and benefiting from the last 12 years of improvements in the scale of animation from the original film, you probably shouldn’t be expecting Oceans Eleven here, but maybe closer to an Ocean’s One and a Half (maybe two).

So should you go see it? Well, it’s hard to say but it entirely depends on either who you are taking with you or your level of affection for the yellow tic-tacs. Clearly part of the minions prequels putting it squarely on the way to having as many films and trilogies as Star Wars Rise of Gru is aimed for a younger audience as timed with school holidays across most of Australia. But if you do have minion aged movie goers there is probably only so many times you can make them go see Top Gun.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is in cinemas across Australia from June 23rd

Story and Characters
Visuals and Effects
Enjoyment Factor
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movie-review-minions-the-rise-of-gruMinions: The Rise of Gru is everything you can think you would get from a movie with that title. Definitely suited for a younger audience during school holidays as long as you know what you are getting in for there should be no surprised here. P.S. You don't have to hang around to very end of the credits