Minions (3D), film review: The rubbery varmints can be funny but the plot twists are very random

(U) Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, 91 mins. Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Katy Mixon
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The Independent Culture

There is a haphazard quality to the latest animated feature from the team behind Despicable Me.

The Minions are the little, yellow, lemming-like creatures with balloon-ish, condom-shaped bodies. The beginning of the film traces in their early history. Their aim is to serve the most despicable of masters. Nothing gives them more pleasure than to follow blindly some despotic dinosaur or caveman. Their problem is that their leaders keep on dying.

A few, very random plot twists see three of the rubbery varmints heading first to late-1960s New York, then to Florida and, finally, to not-so-swinging, tea-drinking London, where they are part of a plot cooked up by super-villainess Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock) to steal the crown jewels. Queen Elizabeth II (Jennifer Saunders) is portrayed as a good-time girl with a mischievous sense of humour and an unlikely knack for arm wrestling.

The Minions are sometimes very funny. They have a winning way of gargling out dialogue. The problem is a plot that is as indeterminate as their body shapes. There is a sense that the film-makers have taken a lot of random ideas, gleefully mixed them all together in a big yellow gloop and then hurled them at the canvas to see what will stick.