Despicable Me, then came Despicable Me 2 and now the comic relief of those two movies gets their chance to be the stars in Minions.
This movie is actually set before the first Despicable Me movie... and runs with the theory that the Minions are somehow an immutable force of nature that has existed since life was single celled organisms.
In a lot of ways that's a slightly disappointing development in this universe. I'd always assumed that the Minions were somehow the creations of Gru himself... perhaps some kind of weird genetic experiment on bananas.
Anyway, the Minions have been around forever and this movie takes place in the years before Gru while the Minions are hiding out in a cave somewhere.
So three Minions leave the rest of the tribe and go on a hunt in search of the next great evil boss to follow.
From a story perspective, it makes the most sense to separate out these three Minions, Kevin (the tall one), Stuart (the cyclops) and Bob (the little one with one green eye and one brown eye)... otherwise there are just too many damn characters.
However this movie doesn't have the sweetness of the previous two. And the three Minion characters are the only ones that really have any definition, everybody else, even the big bad, Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock, essentially doing her regular voice) is fairly one dimensional.
The interactions of the three Minions are funny though, even if they speak a combination of English, Spanish, French and at least a couple of Asian languages (as far as I understand anyway... plus they're all voiced by the director, Pierre Coffin).
And given that the movie is set in 1968, there are a lot of in-jokes for an older audience, from faking the moon landing to The Beatles. The soundtrack is also mostly from the same era and uses a lot of really cool songs to good effect.
At the end of the day though, Minions might be the prequel to Despicable Me, but it's definitely not ahead of it in any other way.
yani's rating: 2 bananas out of 5