The review of Minions 2: How Gru Goes Bad, the sequel / prequel of the yellow troublemakers who wants to tell the origin story of a teenage Gru and his relationship with future assistants.
If there is one aspect that has always characterized the animated films of Illumination Entertainment is the absence (or almost) of the plot, focusing rather on a sequence of gags without a logical thread of cause and consequence. The exception to the rule always exists and in this case it is represented by the Despicable Me trilogy and, as we will see in this Minions 2 review: How Gru gets super badalso from the sequel released by Universal Pictures to theaters on August 18.
The origin story of the antihero
We are used to superhero movies at origin story of the heroes protagonists. But how are the super villains born instead? This is what Minions 2: How Gru becomes very bad tries to tell, the sequel-prequel of the Minions spin-off saga, which wins thanks to the presence of a very young Gru, whom we learned about adult and improvised adoptive father. In this film Gru, on the other hand, is a teenager and has already met the Minions as shown in the post credits scene of the previous film, but for the moment the yellow men troublemakers are friends rather than assistants to the boy, who receives little attention from his mother and looks for them in his cute and somewhat silly playmates.
Gru’s dream is to enter the Evil 6, the League of Super Villains, and to get them noticed he already has some very bad inventions in place. Then comes the chance of a lifetime: one of the members died in the film’s thrilling and daring prologue while trying to retrieve a powerful relic with the gang, and so hearings are now underway to replace him. In short, the film looks like a coming-of-age novel in reverse: Gru’s goal is to become Despicable as the title suggests and in doing so he will have to learn to give the right weight to things and people, like his precious Minions. Although it is therefore almost more a film about Gru and his path than about the Minions and their getting closer and closer to the “mini boss”, this aspect becomes the strength of the film, which can be based on a plot, albeit simple but still solid. Indeed, it is precisely in the sequences in which the yellow assistants tend to take over that the pace falters … although they too learn to grow while remaining physically identical.
Minions 2: How Gru Gets Despicable is the first film to exceed $ 100 million after Frozen 2
Physical comedy and the 70s
Being a prequel, Minions 2 is set in the past and the 70s are the setting for the daring adventures of Gru and company: they are present in the locations (the contact with the Malefics 6 is a vinyl store, or even we arrive in an Arcade games room ), in the loud soundtrack (Born To Be Alive, Funkytown, Dance To The Music or a minionesque version of You Can’t Always Get What You Want), in pop culture (references to Spielberg and Tarantino, to b-movies , to kung fu) and in the costumes and hairstyles of the characters. However, they do not appear to be a cumbersome presence during the viewing and the very physical and nonsense comedy of the yellow protagonists does the rest, together with their fluctuating relationship with the very small and still not very bad Gru. The animation maintains the level of the previous films and everything is played on the opposite aspects of wanting to be evil instead of hero, starting with the gags.
Minions 2: After the 60s and 80s, here are the 70s
The characterization of the League of Super Villains is interesting and seems to wink at series like Hunters (we have a black with fluffy hair and a killer nun with nunchaku), as well as the dubbing given by Max Giusti (and Steve Carell in the original) to the voice of Teenager Crane. Furthermore, the relationship between Gru and the Evil 6 as well as between him and the Minions reflects on the discourse of generational inheritance also on the other side of the coin (how much are they exploiting it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but for the most powerful heroes of the Earth?), Trying to use an irreverent, witty, over the top and unconventional comedy (but not always succeeding). As if it were a specter of what will come, the film also reflects on the sense of family, more the one that is built than that of blood: on the one hand the League with its internal struggles (they are still Super Villains), on the other Gru and his Minions specter of what he will become as an adult with Lucy, Margo, Edith and Agnes. Even every antihero needs a villain and this goes well with the idea of the Evil 6 as a Supernemic to be faced in order to obtain, paradoxically, the reputation of the most Super-villain of all. We all know what’s in Gru’s little black, bungling heart.
A simple but solid plot confirms the strength of the film in our review of Minions 2: How Gru Becomes Bad, combined with the physical comedy and nonsense of the Minions and the not too invasive winks to the 70s. A film that works less paradoxically just when the yellow men take over and steal the show.
Because we like it
- Having exploited the presence of a very young Gru to give a plot, albeit a simple one, to the film
- The coming-of-age novel on the contrary as the origin story of the anti-hero
- The physical comedy and nonsense of the Minions …
- … That sometimes takes over a little too much
- The film loses its effectiveness just when the Minions take the scene and dedicates space only to their subplots