Movie Review: Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)

Synopsis: In 1976, an 11-year-old Gru aspires to be a supervillain and thinks his dreams are about to come true when he receives an invite to interview for a position with the Vicious 6 crime team. When the team's leader, Bell Bottom, insults him, Gru tries to prove his worthiness by stealing a mystical stone from the group and, instead, finds his life in danger from both the Vicious 6 and their ex-leader Wild Knuckles and it is up to the Minions to save the day.

Who's in it? The animated movie uses voices from Steve Carrell, Danny Trejo, Alan Arkin, Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Review: My entire family is fans of the Minions/Despicable Me movies but, by the time I heard about this film, I had serious doubts about the quality. After all, even the best franchises grow stale after awhile. 

That's why I didn't bother paying money to see this at the theater but did take advantage of being able to see it on Peacock. We did that last night and it turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting.

I think the thing I liked best about this movie is they way it managed to showcase Gru (Carrell) as much as his Minions. The Despicable Me movies focus heavily on his high-tech weapons built by Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), who he also meets in this movie, but this film shows he has quite a solid skill set, even at a young age, and might have been able to be a supervillain even without the help.

The film also wasn't as predictable as I would expect an 87-minute-long movie to be. This is mostly because of his father/son-like relationship with Wild Knuckles (Arkin). It was hard to tell if Knuckles really was interested in being Gru's mentor or if he would eventually turn on him at the first opportunity.

One thing I would have loved to have seen from this movie is a little more detail about Gru's relationship with his mom (Julie Andrews). She was more of a background character with a few lines and I think the film missed an opportunity to show how much of an influence she was on his desire to be a supervillain, especially when she seemed more concern about the damage to her home than with the fact her son was in danger.

Final Opinion: I had some doubts about this sequel, but it turned out to be a fun and entertaining movie that we liked. I would recommend it.

My Grade: A


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