Minions: The Rise of Gru Travels to the Past

Carly Johnson, Staff writer

The events of Minions: The Rise of Grutake place in 1976. Kevin Le Minion and his other minion friends have returned to the past to support the “eleven and three-quarters” years old version of Gru after their own prequel, “Minions,” and a pit stop for the lackluster present-day sibling rivalry plot of “Despicable Me 3.” They affectionately refer to him as “mini-boss.” At the start of the film, Gru fantasizes about joining The Vicious 6, an Avengers-style conglomerate of villains created by Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin). Wild Knuckles and his crew are seen in action in an exotic, Indiana Jones-style setting. They’ve come to retrieve a necklace of gems known as The Zodiac Stones. Once recovered, it will provide the Vicious 6 with unlimited power on the night of the Chinese New Year. Wild Knuckles is betrayed by team member Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson) after risking his life to retrieve the gems. She cruelly explains that honor among thieves is a myth before dropping him to his presumed death from their plane. The names of the other four members are also pun-based. There’s Stronghold (Danny Trejo), Nun-Chuck (Lucy Lawless), the Nordic strongman Svengeance (Dolph Lundgren), and a guy with a huge lobster claw for a hand his name is Jean-Clawed and he’s voiced by Jean-Claude Van Damme. The Vicious 5 are looking for a much younger replacement now that the much older Wild Knuckles has left the picture. Gru applies for the job and gets a response on a self-destructing 8-track tape. Gru is fired because he is barely out of junior high, but not before stealing the Zodiac Stones. Belle and her crew are pursuing him in order to reclaim them. In “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” there are two other plot-heavy stories: one about the surviving Wild Knuckles’ San Francisco-based quest for vengeance, and another about the Minions learning kung fu from Master Chow (Michelle Yeoh) in order to save Gru after he’s been kidnapped. Wild Knuckles has kidnapped Gru in an attempt to reclaim what is rightfully his. Mr. Knuckles has no idea that Otto, the newest and most chatty of the Minions, has traded the jewelry for a pet rock. As punishment, Gru is subjected to a type of torture; he’s tied to a giant record player that will spin, for 48 hours straight. “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” like “Minions,” moves at breakneck speed. This time, however, it’s a little less exhausting and actually works in favor of the film. Carell does an excellent job of making Gru sound younger and less pronounced. Henson and the rest of the cast appear to be having a good time, and their enthusiasm is contagious. Even if you despise the Minions, you might enjoy this one. If nothing else, everything is neatly wrapped up in a bow, making any further films unnecessary. That is, unless this one is a huge success. I highly recommend watching this movie, it’s hilarious and it’s something everyone can sit down and enjoy. Rotten tomatoes gave this movie a 70% tomatoes rating but the people seemed to enjoy it with a 90% audience score.