Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Minions Are Stupid; Their Movie Is Worse

My account of vacation day three takes the form of a movie review. We decided to have a more laid back day, starting off with some shopping and later on taking in a movie. We decided to head to the local Alamo Drafthouse to see how it compared to the Denver franchise.

Generally? Not well. Where the Denver Alamo Drafthouse was built new from the ground up, the one we went to (Stone Oaks) seemed like it might have been a converted existing theater. Concrete floors, leading to bouncy sound in the auditoriums. No rear-theater access for the servers, who had to come in the same way as all the customers. No tables between the seats; instead, a long, skinny bar (and high, too -- almost distractingly in the sight lines) ran the length of each row. But I will say this: the service seemed worlds better than it is now in Denver. The local Drafthouse, after opening strong and leaving quite an impression on me, has slid far downhill in service quality over the past year. (You'd better order what you want 45-60 minutes before you want it.)

But whatever flaws this Alamo Drafthouse may have had were nothing compared to the simply dreadful movie we saw. Torn between Amy Schumer's new Trainwreck and Minions, we went with the movie starting earlier: Minions. Terrible mistake. Lacking all of the heart and charm of the Despicable Me movies it spun off from, Minions is a tedious and boring 90 minutes we'll never get back.

There's absolutely no character growth in Minions. There's barely character in Minions, with everyone a one-dimensional caricature after just one thing (and the interchangeable minions themselves the worst of all). This might be alright in an average kids' movie, if the comic relief that were taking center stage was actually funny. Instead, you get repeated material from the Despicable Me movies, interspersed with increasingly boring gags mostly about the minions' gibberish language.

The script indulges in one cliche after another -- often more than once. I lost count of how many "montages set to a famous 60s rock song" there are in the middle of the film, but it's at least three (and maybe four), in what feels like a 15 minute span. But perhaps this is the inevitable result of stretching a few minutes of material into a 90-minute movie.

It's hard to imagine what potential any actor in the cast saw here, and the performances seem to reflect this lack of spark. Sandra Bullock is flat as main villain Scarlet Overkill, leaving the animators to work overtime in pushing her character over the top. Jon Hamm, not-so-secretly hilarious if you've seen him in anything other than Mad Men, is cloyingly "wacky" -- though he is playing the only thing the script gives him to work with. Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, and Steve Coogan all get too little screen time to be of interest. And Geoffrey Rush seems as bored to be there in his narration as the audience itself soon will be.

If we'd been back home, we undoubtedly would have walked out on this movie. But with no other particular plan that evening but bed, we both just sort of suffered through it. My hope is it's not too late to spare you. Minions is the worst movie either of us has seen this year, a deplorable F. Don't even let your kids see it; you should be cultivating better taste in them.

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