Minions: The Rise of Gru

The second animated movie that I am catching up on tonight is the sequel to the hit film Minions, which was named Minions: The Rise of Gru. The Rise of Gru was a big hit from earlier this year, but I just did not want to watch this in the theater. I did not mind the Despicable Me films, but I hated the first Minions movie and that feeling just did not inspire me to head out to see it. I knew it would show up on streaming sooner or later before the year ended and I would watch it there. I still avoided renting it because of the price. I knew it was going to drop the price eventually. Then, this weekend, the movie showed up for free on Peacock and that was the price I wanted. So I watched Minions: The Rise of Gru tonight.

Who would have guessed it? I kind of liked this.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, “In the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru (Oscar® nominee Steve Carell) is growing up in the suburbs. A fanboy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6, Gru hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. Luckily, he gets some mayhem-making backup from his loyal followers, the Minions. Together, Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto–a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please–deploy their skills as they and Gru build their first lair, experiment with their first weapons and pull off their first missions. When the Vicious 6 oust their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles (Oscar® winner Alan Arkin), Gru interviews to become their newest member. It doesn’t go well (to say the least), and only gets worse after Gru outsmarts them and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. On the run, Gru will turn to an unlikely source for guidance, Wild Knuckles himself, and discover that even bad guys need a little help from their friends

The introduction of the Vicious 6 in the cold open caught my attention and these characters were intriguing. With the inclusion of young Gru (Steve Carell), this gave the Minions a chance to not necessarily the lead characters, which was not something that worked with them. This allowed the use of the Minions, even hen they were front and center, to be kept at a minimum, making them much more enjoyable than when they had to be the entire focus of the movie.

There is a great voice cast here in The Rise of Gru including Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, RZA, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Alan Arkin, Danny Trejo, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, and Pierre Coffin as the voice of Kevin, Stu and Bob.

I went into this movie with every expectation that I was going to hate this, but it was surprisingly entertaining and it turned out considerably better than I thought it would. Who knew?

3.6 stars

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