The sequel to the animated hit ‘Minions’ (2015), ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’, tells the origin story of the supervillain protagonist of ‘Despicable Me’ (2010-2017), Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), and recounts the minions’ (voiced by Pierre Coffin) first encounter with his younger self.
This sequel follows Gru as he grows up in the suburbs during the 1970s, surrounded by a flurry of feathered hair and flared trousers. Gru, a fan of the Vicious 6 supervillain supergroup, devises a strategy to become bad enough to join them. Luckily, he has the help of his loyal minions, who help him cause trouble.
Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto — a new minion with braces and a strong desire to please — combine their talents as they and Gru construct their first lair, test their first weapons, and complete their first missions.
Gru interviews to join the Vicious 6 after their commander, famed fighter Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin), is ousted. It doesn’t go well, to put it mildly, and it only gets worse as Gru outwits them and becomes the mortal enemy of the ultimate evil. While on the run, he must seek support from an unlikely individual — Wild Knuckles himself — and realise that even evil guys need a little help from their friends.
The laughs come frequently in director Kyle Balda’s addition to a franchise that began with 2010’s “Despicable Me” and the script’s emphasis on loyalty, teamwork and true friendship is pleasing. Whilst suspense and bad guys are present, the film is ultimately a traditional family movie, which appealed to Steve Carell, who voices Gru.
“They’re really good family movies,” Carell recently told Comicbook. “They’re not condescending to children either, and that’s one of the reasons I signed on to do these. When I read the first script, and I saw all the artwork, I was like, there’s a little danger here, and kids love that – not too much, but just enough to be exciting and new and different, that had a different tone to it.”
He also shared how the Gru voice grew out of making his own children laugh. “The reason I actually do that voice is because it’s the voice that made my kids laugh,” he said.
“When I went in before I did my first taping, I said: ‘Hey, guys, (Gru voice) what do you think of this?’ And they’re like, ‘That’s the one, just do that.'”
The family fun aspect which Carell refers to is a feature of ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ which appeals to Dave Griffiths from Heavy Cinema. “Just like the other films that have built up the Minions’ world the first thing that hits you with this film is just how much fun it is,” he said.
“The screenwriting team, made up of Brian Lynch (Puss In Boots) and Matthew Fogel (The Lego Movie 2), has made sure that this is the perfect family film as it is the type of film that will appeal to both parents and children alike.”
Kyle Balda, who co-directed ‘Minions’ and ‘Despicable Me 3’, is the principal director, with Brad Ableson, who worked on ‘The Simpsons’ as a storyboard and character layout designer, and Jonathan del Val, the co-director of ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ (2019), as co-directors.
Taraji P. Henson joins Carell and Coffin to lend her voice in this film as Belle Bottom, the leader of the Vicious 6.
After a two-year delay owing to COVID-related problems, ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ will be released on 1st July 2022. It will also be made available for Amazon Prime Video and Peacock at a later date.
Picture: CNS photo/Universal Studios