Building on their first success in 2015, the funny yellow creatures from the Moi, Moche et Méchant saga are back in their own film again. Except that, as the title suggests, in The Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru, they share the poster…
In the gaggle of secondary characters from animation sagas who have had their own adventures (The Penguins of Madagascar, Puss in Boots, etc.), few are those who have managed to convince that they could exist alone. This is where Illumination pulled off the coup of the century in 2015 by offering its Despicable Me Minions a dedicated film that was both successful and very funny. The result is clear: these yellow creatures in overalls and with approximate language have real comic potential, even far from their boss Gru. And while the main license was coming to the end of its ideas, they still had a lot on their hands. This is how Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru arrived.
We find the yellow creatures in the 70s, accompanying their “mini-boss” when the latter, although eleven years old, wants to join the Vicious 6, a famous group of super-villains. But the interview goes wrong and Gru becomes their target. He then falls on Wild Knuckles, the former leader of the Vicious 6. For their part, the Minions will try everything to save their mini-boss.
Once upon a time Gru
In this summary alone, we find the main problem of Minions 2: once upon a time Gru. There are two stories within the story. Or even three. On the one hand, we have Kevin, Bob and Stuart who will learn kung fu in a pure amusing tribute to genre films (with the Bruce Lee outfits to match), on the other, we have Gru who will bind an almost filial relationship with Wild Knuckles, and, finally, we have Otto crossing the United States in Easy Rider mode. As the title of the film and the ending of the previous one suggest, this is no longer a film about the Minions, it is a film about the Minions AND Gru.
What was originally a slightly disconnected prequel to Despicable Me has already joined its historical narrative thread. In principle, it seemed inevitable and there is nothing shocking about it. But within the film, this creates above all a shift in rhythm and sequences that are not equal to each other. As much as the part with Kevin, Bob and Stuart is bubbling with ideas, especially in terms of references to the seventh art, as much as the one with Gru is more conventional, more mellow. We even find ourselves nose-diving a little at times.
And above all, this almost early junction between the small and the big story leads to a more fundamental question about the future of the Minions. We know all of Universal’s love for these creatures (we can’t count the number of ostensible winks in the studio’s films) and we also know that the public will once again respond; we ourselves are well aware of their almost unlimited potential in terms of humor.
Therefore, with such a promising future, it is strange to have this feeling that by already bringing Gru back to the fore, the screenwriters seem to be admitting failure, as if the film could not stand on the only nonsense of the Minions within this new license which nevertheless bears their name. Are we in front of a real film devoted, like the first, or to a “Me, Small, Moche et Méchant”? While, on the public side, we want to re-enlist for a third episode, we are almost witnessing a premature end on the side of the screenwriters.
Minions, funny and touching
Especially since this Minions 2 had some leeway to do without Gru. In its 70s use alone, there was still enough to laugh at beyond the few almost timid uses the film makes of it. You just have to see the intro scene or the hideout of the bad guys hidden in a vinyl store to have this desire to observe more of our Minions going through this decade. Certainly, we could have shouted at the repetition vis-à-vis the first film, but who cares!
Because the importance is that it still makes us laugh! And it is clear that this Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru, when it does not get lost in an uninteresting arc, is a lot of fun! With each new look, each new situation, each new Minionesque shouting match, we laugh at best, we smile at least. Especially since the film still manages to tell new things about them, whether in terms of characters or their relationships.
In addition, we should not forget the main target of the feature film. Because if some parents can start to get tired, there is no doubt about the effect it will have on the youngest as it is teeming with visual delusions. A wacky and cartoonish side that achieves what we asked for: fun. We found them funny and endearing, we are now completely in love with these yellow creatures. Why bother with a mini-boss? They are the bosses!