Out August 18, Minions 2 is the fun prequel about Gru’s origins and meeting his yellow helpers
Since 2010, Gru and his disciples have conquered cinemas and the hearts of the little ones thanks to light comedy and a peculiar hero, a villain who in Minions 2 – How Gru becomes very bad – in theaters with Universal Pictures from August 18, 2022 – is a child with a great ambition: to become a feared and respected villain.
In the original cast, the names of Steve Carrell (who lends his voice to Gru, voiced in the Italian version by Max Giusti), Lucy Lawless, Julie Andrews And Jean-Claude Van Danme.
In this prequel dedicated to Gru’s helpers, the Minions are the real strength thanks to the funny gags of which they are the undisputed protagonists. Director Kyle Balda (former author of the first film of the saga, as well as of Despicable Me 3 and of Toy Story 2) draws heavily on the previous chapters, combining the light and funny tone typical of the first film with the themes dear to the coming-of-age story. The result is a good entertainment film especially for children, but not only: Minions 2 – How Gru becomes very bad knows how to entertain adults too!
Minions 2: the importance of a meeting
We are in the 70s and Gru is not yet the very bad villain he will be as an adult. At the moment he is a 12-year-old boy who is cultivating his big dream in the closet at home.
While in school it is bullied and teasing by his companions, the only ones who believe in him are the Minions, little yellow creatures that support him in his evil plans. The unexpected invitation from the Maleficent 6 – the group of villains idolized by Gru – seems to change the fate of the young boy. Except that they too, like everyone else, do not believe it is up to it after only a fleeting first glance.
What better opportunity to get your revenge than to steal the gang’s latest effort? Things do not go exactly according to plan and the only ones who remain by his side are the four protagonists format Minions: Kevin, Stuart, Bob And Eight. With San Francisco in the background, where city architecture becomes an opportunity for irresistible sketches, combined with Chinese culture and always well-chosen singing choices; between a kung fu lesson and a pool full of alligators to take care of, Gru opens his eyes to the importance of the family that goes beyond blood ties.
The birth of Gru
Gru’s origins are a fun ovation to the seventies which is aimed primarily at children and families. It takes up all the themes dear to the coming-of-age and readjusts them in a comic key, without giving the viewer too many layers of interpretation.
Gru has a great dream, an ambition so strong that it occupies him all day, but there is one big difference between what he wants and his current life. A short-sighted mother accompanies him in a growth made up of bullying at school and indifference between the walls of the house; she teases that I propose again to the long-awaited meeting with the Evil 6. Even though he is intelligent and brilliant, Gru is nevertheless seen as a fat kid not to be taken too seriously.
Stealing the zodiac stone in front of the nose of his idols and then returning it, triumphant and ready to be covered with glory, seems the best idea if it were not that – as in the best comedies – several inconveniences and problems hinder his path.
The previous films of the saga have made their spearhead to have a villain as the protagonist and, above all, the strong contrast given by his singular appearance and his tender heart. Gru is a good guy, but he is not the usual hero nor the villain par excellence.
A coming-of-age unusual
In Minions 2 we see an immature Crane who is already grappling with his own ambitions but who, after all, is just a child who loves making jokes, spending time in the playroom and spending time with his idols. The only thing he wants is to be seen.
As in most of the coming-of-age stories and following the wave of contemporary narration that converges in stories with a newfound paternity – The Mandolarian in this she is the master -, Gru is unwittingly looking for a family to accept him for what it is. Of people who support him and who believe in him and in his dreams, even if they seem too big and unusual for a child. Minions 2 is a warning to the young protagonist who does not realize that he already has a family to rely on, even if it is not what he imagined.
How the Minions become protagonists
The gap between 12-year-old Gru and the adult we all know is clear, but the characterization of the protagonist remains consistent until the end.
Its peculiarities are enhanced thanks to theinterpretation of Max GiustiGru’s voice actor since his first appearance, who does a good job of subtraction on his voice and does not fall into the trivial mistake of giving the little Gru a stereotypical child’s voice.
The strength of the film, however, is not Gru – although the main narrative arc of the story is dedicated to him – but it is the group of little yellow creatures who swoop into his home and do everything to stay with him. Minions 2 reminds you of that kind of light comedy, but never insane that previous films in the franchise had accustomed us to. The director never forces his hand, creating individual sketches that blend well with the story he is telling.
A note of merit goes to the short, but lucky scene of Kevin and Stuart – trying to fly a plane with many problems – easing the tension, helping to make the sparkling animated film, but without too many pretensions.
The glue is the varied and rich settings: the Golden Gate Bridge stands out among the blue tones that characterize San Francisco and then reaches the district of China Town, hectic and colorful, and the desert terrain that acts as a counterpoint between the two worlds. Also thanks to the soundtrack composed by famous songs from the seventies (how Funky Town And You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones) that help keep the pace of the entire narrative high, Minions 2 is a fun film that goes straight to its goal: to entertain young and old.