With the fatigue of loadshedding and water outages and and and giving us all sorts of headaches this week, consider taking a fun time-out and putting some colour back into your life. Take the kids, any kids (no don’t do that I was just kidding!), or even just yourself (there’s no judgement here) to the cinema and get tickets to watch Minions: The Rise of Gru.
For me, it was a welcomed, and scheduled, two hours in the dark. A real escape from the world, a throwback to the start of supervillain life for Despicable Me’s Gru, as he applies to become part of a supervillain troupe.
Gru (Steve Carell) is only an 11-and-a-bit-years-old youngster in 1970s suburbia, planning to rule the world from his basement long before he becomes the lord of evil.
Gru secures an interview to join the notorious supervillain supergroup the Vicious 6 after they remove their leader, great martial artist Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin). He is however, a child and gets laughed out of the building for being exactly that.
But they don’t our friend Gru, do they? With the help, and I use that term loosely here, of his super cute henchmen, Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and newly introduced, Otto—a new Minion with braces and a need to please, Gru proves himself worthy. And we all know how that story goes. Things go wrong but turn out great in the end with a hell of a lot adventure and chuckles in between!
As expected, this animated movie brings the fun and the silly giggles. But worth a mention for me are an insane plane ride… and details like the baddies characters’ aptly named. One’s a Nun called Nunchuck and a big blonde dude named Svengeance – it’s all just so clever!
The cast and production
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. Jean-Claude Van Damme is Jean Clawed, who’s armed (literally) with a giant robotic claw. Lucy Lawless is Nunchuck, whose traditional nun’s habit hides her deadly nun-chucks. Dolph Lundgren is Swedish roller-skate champion Svengeance, who dispenses his enemies with spin kicks from his spiked skates. Danny Trejo is 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 Julie Andrews as Gru’s mom.
Minions: The Rise of Gru is produced by 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). It features the iconic voice of Pierre Coffin as the Minions and a killer ’70s soundtrack courtesy of legendary Grammy-winning music producer Jack Antonoff.
It’s bright and colourful and silly and fun and you have to admire the work that went into making this movie. The music is amazing and for a little less than two hours, you can just sit back, forget the world and enjoy!