Friday, July 31, 2015

Minions

I have just come out of the movie theater after watching "Minions" with my nephew. The movie is based on the lovable yellow creatures from the "Despicable Me" franchise.  "Minions" is set up to tell the origin and purpose of the Minion character.  It begins showing "Minion single cell" organism swimming in a primordial soup. They evolve looking for a "boss."

As they evolve to their current twinkie shaped yellow form, they continue to seek a leader.  First a tyrannosaurus was chosen by the Minions, then a caveman. Both leaders succumbed to the clumsiness of the Minion creatures. They then become servants of the Egyptian Pharoah, but accidently kills him and the Egyptians by dropping a pyramid on them.  The movie then fast forwards to 1968 where three of the Minions (Kevin, Bob, Stuart) settle in New York City.  While there, they encounter a secret broadcast infomercial for "Villian Con."  This is a convention specifically for villains and would be held at Orlando, Florida.  The three Minions are intrigued and make it their mission to go to Orlando.  They do this by attempting to hitchhike. While doing so, they encounter a family of robbers who drives them to the convention. Orlando is presented as swampland instead of the city it is today. The Villian convention is held underground.  At the convention, the minions try to apply to be servants for villains present but fail to impress them.  Their skills are "not evil or a talent" as one character informs one Minion.  The main event at the convention entails a presentation given by the biggest villain of them all: Scarlet Overkill who is voiced by Sandra Bullock.

Scarlet Overkill is looking for henchmen.  In order to become her henchmen, she challenges those villains participating into stealing a red ruby from her hand.  Several villains try but are beaten up by the quick and skilled Scarlet Overkill. However, one of the Minions gets caught in the scuffle and loses his teddy bear.  The ruby ends up in the Minion's mouth.  Scarlet is surprised and makes the Minions her henchmen.  She takes them to England where she has a compound.  The movie mocks British people by highlighting the stereotype of large teeth, aloof personalities and rigidity. Moreover, there is a scene where the Moon Landing is also mocked.  The minions enter what appears to be a movie studio where the Moon Landing is being filmed.  Lastly, Anglicanism is also mocked. An Anglican bishop is described as "squishy" as Scarlet squeezes his cheeks.  A scene in the movie shows the Minions busting through a stain glass window of what looks like three bishops in the "hear no evil, see no evil..." pose with the covering of eyes, ears.  However, the last bishop on the window is covering his crotch.  It seems this may have been a jab at the Anglican community of maybe even the Catholic Church in regards to the sexual abuse scandals.  It seems that the message conveyed is that the bishops do not acknowledge evil.

Moreover, Scarlet orders the minions to steal Queen Elizabeth II's state crown.  The Minions attempt to do so but fail at first.  The Minion Bob does capture Queen Elizabeth's buggy, but she refuses to hand over the state crown.  They struggle at the Sword in the Stone location where the Excalibur Sword is impaled. The Minion Bob pulls out Excalibur using robotic arms and the cops who came to rescue Queen Elizabeth begin to bow before him.  Queen Elizabeth then hands Bob the state crowd with a frustrated reaction.  She abdicates the throne and Bob becomes King Bob.  Meanwhile, Scarlet views the coronation and becomes upset believing the Minions betrayed her.  She wanted the crown for herself and wanted to be crowned as Queen.  This is when she goes after the Minions.  They willingly give her the crown, but she imprisons them in a dungeon instead.  The Minions escape and try to apologize to Scarlet during her coronation but accidently drop a huge chandelier from the cathedral on her.  She interprets this as an attempt to kill her and orders other villains gathered at the coronation to go after her.

The Minions make an escape  and run into Queen Elizabeth in a pub drinking with men.  Two of them are captured while Kevin is left to rescue them.  Meanwhile, other Minions are traveling to England to meet their three brothers there.  Kevin attempts to rescue Stuart and Bob but is outnumbered by the villains Scarlet sent after him. He ends up in her compound and enters a machine that makes him grow into a giant.  As a giant, he rescues Bob and Stuart who are tied up in a pile of TNT.  Scarlet finds out and goes after him with her robotic dress.  She fires rockets at him but is unable to defeat him.  She then tries to fly off with her husband, but Kevin holds onto her.  Her rocket lifts him up into the sky where the stress of Kevin's weight as a giant causes the dress to explode. The Minions all gather and watch.  They believe Keven is dead, but he appears parachuting down with his overalls.

Queen Elizabeth II is restored as the monarch and celebrates the three Minions who rescued England from Scarlet.  She hands them gifts and gives Bob's teddy bear a crown.  However, Scarlet and her husband appear and take the state crown.  They try to make a run for it but are then frozen by a young fat boy who turns out to be young Gru from Despicable Me.  The minions are in awe of this kid as he gets away in a ship and go after him seeking him to be their boss.  Bob in the meantime returns to Scarlet and gives her the crown Elizabeth gave to his teddy bear.  So the ending shows how the Minions and Gru came to be acquainted.

The movie starts out slow but then the story begins to build up.  It is full of funny moments, especially the typical silly clumsy comedy that children love. There is some nudity in the form of a sumo wrestler with his butt-cheeks showing and later on, Bob is seen in a thong walking showing his butt cheeks as he walked into a pool.  No foul language is used in the movie, but some innuendos are made that only adults will notice.  Overall, the movie was fun. I was surprised to see many adults and even teen boys present at the movies today along with children of all ages.  The movie deals with the themes of greed, loyalty, belonging, and heroism.  The Minions is a movie for people of all ages and can be used to teach children about morals.   Photos posted here were taken by me using my phone.  

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