Minions: The Rise of Gru Movie Review

Minions: The Rise of Gru - Image from Illumination / Universal Pictures

In a busy summer box office with moviegoers anxious to return to theaters (and movie companies anxious to fill those seats), it seems like fans are craving familiar faces and stories.  Minions: The Rise of Gru is the latest in the blockbuster franchise from Illumination and Universal.  Like Top Gun: Maverick and Lightyear, we see new stories from some of our old favorites.  How does Minions: The Rise of Gru stack up against prior films and other successful films at the box office this summer?  

Minions: The Rise of Gru Movie Review

Minions: The Rise of Gru - Image from Illumination / Universal Pictures

In Minions: The Rise of Gru, we travel back to the 1970s and meet a young Gru.  As just an 11 year old schoolboy, Gru already has big dreams of being the greatest supervillain of all time.  With the help of his minions, he has already been trying out evil plans, new devices, and is building his own lab.  When a spot opens up with his heroes, the Vicious 6, Gru eagerly applies and is thrilled to get an invite to interview and maybe join their team.  Throughout his quest to impress the Vicious 6, he goes on a journey that challenges him as a villain and the meaning of friendship and teamwork.  

Minions: The Rise of Gru - Image from Illumination / Universal Pictures

Was Minions: The Rise of Gru worth the watch?  It was OK.  There were plenty of laughs throughout the film, but the storyline felt a little blah in my opinion.  I've never been a huge Minions fan so maybe it was just my lack of enthusiasm that's speaking, but it just didn't connect for me.  There was nothing wrong with the movie - it just lacked the depth that I really enjoyed in Lightyear which we saw the week before.  While my kids enjoyed Minions: The Rise of Gru, they also agreed saying that Lightyear was far better.  

Minions: The Rise of Gru - Image from Illumination / Universal Pictures

Our humble opinions clearly don't matter much though because the audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes and the box office receipts are clearly showing that this film is a homeroom with audiences.  If you enjoy the Minions franchise, I'm sure that you will love this film.  If you're like us and more "meh" when it comes to the Minions, then it's an OK choice. . .but one that we probably could have saved for streaming.  

About Minions: The Rise of Gru (From Illumination / Universal Pictures)

This summer, from the biggest global animated franchise in history, comes the origin story of how the world’s greatest supervillain first met his iconic Minions, forged cinema’s most despicable crew and faced off against the most unstoppable criminal force ever assembled in Minions: The Rise of Gru. 


Long before he becomes the master of evil, Gru (Oscar® nominee Steve Carell) is just a 12-year-old boy in 1970s suburbia, plotting to take over the world from his basement. 


It’s not going particularly well. When Gru crosses paths with the Minions, including Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto—a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—this unexpected family joins forces. Together, they build their first lair, design their first weapons, and strive to execute their first missions. 


When the infamous supervillain supergroup, the Vicious 6, oust their leader—legendary martial arts fighter Wild Knuckles (Oscar® winner Alan Arkin)— Gru, their most devoted fanboy, interviews to become their newest member. The Vicious 6 is not impressed by the diminutive, wannabe villain, but then Gru outsmarts (and enrages) them, and he suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. With Gru on the run, the Minions attempt to master the art of kung fu to help save him, and Gru discovers that even bad guys need a little help from their friends. 


Featuring more spectacular action than any film in Illumination history and packed with the franchise’s signature subversive humor, Minions: The Rise of Gru stars a thrilling new cast, including, the Vicious 6: Taraji P. Henson as cool and confident leader Belle Bottom, whose chain belt doubles as a lethal disco-ball mace; Jean-Claude Van Damme as the nihilistic Jean Clawed, who’s armed (literally) with a giant robotic claw; Lucy Lawless as Nunchuck, whose traditional nun’s habit hides her deadly nun-chucks; Dolph Lundgren as Swedish roller-skate champion Svengeance, who dispenses his enemies with spin kicks from his spiked skates; and Danny Trejo as Stronghold, whose giant iron hands are both a menace to others and a burden to him.  


The film also stars Russell Brand as Young Dr. Nefario, an aspiring mad scientist, Michelle Yeoh as Master Chow, an acupuncturist with mad kung fu skills, and Oscar® winner Julie Andrews as Gru’s maddeningly self-absorbed mom.


Steered by the franchise’s original creators, Minions: The Rise of Gru is produced by visionary Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborators Janet Healy and Chris Renaud. The film is directed by returning franchise filmmaker Kyle Balda (Despicable Me 3, Minions), co-directed by Brad Ableson (The Simpsons) and Jonathan del Val (The Secret Life of Pets films), and features the iconic voice of Pierre Coffin as the Minions and a killer ’70s soundtrack courtesy of legendary Grammy-winning music producer Jack Antonoff.

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