Minions: The Rise of Gru review: fast and funny, but fading

You won’t become the highest-grossing animated film franchise of all time without knowing how to engage your audience, even if the audience is as wide as fans of the Despicable Me movies.

The last entry in that franchise, Minions: The Rise of Grusure knows how to play his audience, even if his appeal is starting to get a little thin.

Gru looks happy when he is surrounded by his Minions in his under construction hideout.

The fifth episode of the Despicable Me movie franchise and sequel to 2015 minionsThe Rise of Gru is a kind of prequel movie, which follows 11-year-old aspiring supervillain Felonious Gru (voiced by space power star Steve Carell) as he attempts to join a supervillain group known as the Vicious 6. When an unexpected twist in the itGru must rely on his ever-present yellow minions, a new mentor, and some new allies to escape the sinister Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson) and the rest of the Vicious 6.

In addition to bringing back franchise actor Carell as the voice of Gru, The Rise of Gru also brings back director Kyla Balda, who goes solo on the film after sharing directing duties on minions and 2017 Terrible Me 3† As with previous installments of the franchise, The Rise of Gru also welcomes a host of high-profile voice actors as new characters, with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo and Alan Arkin playing the other five, colorful members of the Vicious 6. the cast of Michelle Yeoh, Julie Andrews and RZA in supporting roles.

The members of the super villain team Vicious 6 stand at a table.

where before minions film mainly took place in the late 60s, The Rise of Gru set in the mid-1970s, and as with its predecessor, the film’s historical setting offers plenty of opportunities to give the adventure a unique feel. The music, fashion and trends of that particular era fit well with the bright palette set up by animation studio Illumination throughout the franchise. And as with every film in the series, there’s plenty to see in every corner of the screen, and an impressive attention to detail to match the era. The Rise of Gru

As Gru, Carell has always delivered a stellar performance, and he manages to give the 11-year-old character just as much snap and hubris as he did to middle-aged Gru in previous episodes. That same, reliable energy can also be found in the return of Pierre Coffin as the voice of the minions, who remain the main draw of the franchise. The Rise of Gru also delivers more of the franchise’s high-profile casting in supporting roles, often accompanied by jokes that mature audiences will appreciate — like action icon Van Damme casting a lobster-armed villain by the name of “Jean Clawed.”

Gru is holding a cheese shotgun surrounded by his Minions.

Although there is plenty of comedy to be found in followers: The Rise of Gru, the film doesn’t quite maintain the momentum of its predecessors over the course of its 88-minute runtime. Gru and the Minions are still funny, but the jokes they are doing are starting to feel a little too familiar these days – especially those of the franchise’s little, yellow agents of chaos, who get more predictable with each episode.

Watching the film in a theater where the number of adults without children was almost equal to the number of accompanied children in the audience brought a lot of laughter The Rise of Gru were not nearly as often as they had been before Despicable Me movies. After experiencing both minions and Terrible Me 3 in a general audience that seemingly couldn’t stop laughing, the long journey of silent watching during the The Rise of Gru by children and adults alike suggests (albeit anecdotally) that the franchise could lose a step.

Even if it’s not able to bring up so many laughs in general, followers: The Rise of Gru remains a fun, entertaining adventure that is likely to please fans new and old. By making a villain the central protagonist of the franchise, Despicable Me made a big gamble that eventually paid off — and continues to do so, even as the adult version of Gru embraces a more law-abiding life. Exploring his early years, minions movies are allowed to continue playing in that bad-guy-as-hero sandbox, and The Rise of Gru proves that even one of the weaker entries in the franchise is still great fun for audiences of all ages.

Universal photos’ Minions: The Rise of Gru is now in cinemas.

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