Oh my, it happened.
This was the day the Illumination studio and Universal Studios responsible for films finally got on my nerves.
I suppose it began with the heavily promoted “The Secret Life of Pets” which had failed to get a single laugh out of me. It was wall to wall stereotypes and half assed acting with a basic story which wasn’t too bad. Then came along “Sing” which was again heavily advertised. Think “Animals Got Talent” and that’s it. No idea if that was any good as basically talent show meh hasn’t really interested me at all. But now they came back with the franchise that launched it all in Despicable Me 3.
Remember the minions? Even if the attempt to spin them off in the Minions film was utterly awful? They’re back and after two seconds shouting Illumination while doing fart noises at the opening logo reveal. Remember most of the characters from the last sequel like Gru’s new wife Lucy and the bloke with the big bottom? They’re here too! Well Ramsbottom (played by Steve Coogan) is only in it for about two minutes before he’s thrown out for someone else. They also didn’t even get Russell Brand back to voice Dr. Nefario so he shows up twice silently.
So what could possibly top the first two films which were very well received and of course gave Universal Pictures the cash cow they’;ve had with the minions for years now?
Well Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) fail to stop one Mr. Balthazar Bratt (played for some reason by Trey Parker? Really?), a supervillain and former child star who grows up to become obsessed with the character he played in the ’80s and is bent on world domination because he got cancelled and then no-one gave him money at Comic Con. He is as annoying as he sounds, and of course does all the 80s tropes that you could possibly think off. But that’s only the start as Gru doesn’t go back to evil after being fired from the Justice League thing he belongs to.
This upsets the minions who mostly bugger off and do their own thing for the majority of the film while everyone else goes with Gru to meet his “previously never mentioned but they needed a plot-point” twin brother, also played by Steve Carell. He’s annoying too and mostly useless. Cue various things about family, Lucy trying to be a mum to the girls and blah blah save the day against Balthazar Bratt blah blah.
This film really didn’t keep me interested for a lot of the time. Sure I smiled at a few parts, and it even got a couple of laughs out of me for sure. But now, I’m done. I will not watch any more of these films from Illumination as it managed to do the one thing it should never do. Bore me. I was indifferent.
I didn’t care what really happened. I was happy it was only 90 minutes so I didn’t start feeling any rage. The minions were just shoehorned in to ensure the kids were satisfied, but they were completely not needed for the purpose of the plot. It’s almost like the film studio wanted to make sure their marketable product was still front and center and so you rarely had a minute without them appearing on screen.
Even the music I swear was getting reused from previous films (outside of the moments where we had Trey Parker’s chracter dancing around to the 80s tune of your choice.) There were few surprises if any, and sadly I could only reach this conclusion; This was a lazy pay day for everyone involved. They will make money of course from the kids but I wonder if even they will now be tired of this.
I will always have the first two films. They will be Despicable Me. What came after, will be forgotten. I cannot say to anyone, go watch this. Save your cash for Spiderman: Homecoming, a month’s Netflix sub or maybe a couple of copies of “top-shelf” magazines from the newsagents. Whatever you pick, it will be much better value for money and provide better entertainment than this way that Universal’s CEO pays for another deluxe Fridge Freezer in his second home.