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Laramie Movie Scope: Minions

How the Minions found their boss

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 17, 2015 -- This third in the “Despicable Me” series of animated films about villains that aren't really very villainous, treads the same tightrope between villainy and heroism, silliness and relevance, as the previous two films, but it is a bit thinner.

This film takes us back to a time before the first film, back to the age of dinosaurs, in fact. The Minions were always looking for an evil boss to serve, such as cavemen and dinosaurs, but they ended up hiding in a large cave when those “bosses” didn't quite work out.

After getting very bored living in the cave, three Minions, Kevin, Bob and Stuart leave the cave to search for a new boss, traveling many miles, until they find about a convention of villains being held in Orlando, Florida. They hitch a ride with a family of bank robbers who are also headed to the convention, accidentally helping the criminals by blocking pursuing police along the way.

At the convention, they catch the notice of a woman, Scarlet Overkill, a super villain who is looking for henchmen. By accident, Kevin, Bob and Stewart win the audition and become Scarlet's minions. The rest of the Minions hear the news, leave the cave and struggle to find their way to Scarlet's headquarters in England.

Scarlet sets a tough task for Kevin, Bob and Stewart. She wants them to steal Queen Elizabeth's crown. Scarlet has always wanted to be a queen, or at least a princess. She warns the Minions that if they fail in this task, she will kill them. The rest of the Minions haven't arrived yet, so it is up to Kevin, Bob and Stewart to get the job done, with the aid of some super villain gadgets.

The trick, of course is to tell this story about the Minions helping villains attain their goals without the Minions seeming to be evil. That trick requires some very improbable coincidences and events to take place. The Minions pull off some amazing thefts in much the same way that Inspector Closeau solves crimes, by successful bumbling.

While there are some funny slapstick stunts in this film, and the soundtrack, with music from the musical “Hair,” the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Donovan, among others, is very good, the Minions don't have much personality, and they can't really talk, in English at least. The Minions are characters with too many limitations to carry the film. While the film has plenty of cultural references for older viewers, it is mainly suitable for children. This film rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2015 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)