Minions: The Rise of Gru, released recently in selected countries and in Sri Lanka too, after a delay of over two years, due to the pandemic. The film marks the fifth instalment as part of the Despicable Me franchise and comes as the sequel to the popular 2015 spin-off prequel Minions.

The computer-animated film with the tagline ‘A villain will rise’ and ‘Brace yourself,’ once again features a skilled voice cast of stars, with Steve Carell returning to reprise his role as the voice of the title character, the felonious Gru, while Pierre Coffin returns as the voice of the Minions, which include Stuart, Otto, Bob and Kevin. Alan Arkin plays the voice of Wild Knuckles, Taraji P. Henson as Belle Bottom, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Jean Clawed, and Michelle Yeoh as Master Chow, among an equally skilled voice cast.

The comedy film this time shines a light on Gru’s origin story, at a time when his dream career as a supervillain becomes a reality. Set in 1970, the film gives viewers an insight into Gru’s childhood and even takes a time to show fans how he met the Minions. The core story unfolds when the Vicious 6, the ultimate supervillains, invite Gru to an interview, to replace Wild Knuckles, a legendary fighter, who Gru idolises, but things suddenly take a turn and spiral out of control.

This is a fun film that shows the Minions, led by Gru, on the run, from the Vicious 6 group, he wanted to join. This results in fast chase scenes, a subsequent kidnapping, and the minions springing into humorous action, training to become warriors, and as they try to defend their own.

Minions: The Rise of Gru, easily delivers a creative cinematic experience, filled with emotions, such as anger, love, sadness, and determination, supported by well-polished animations that capture the powerful comedy at the right moments. There are several individual components of the film, which come together so well that it creates an atmosphere that shows viewers how Gru adapts to his environment and rises as a young and ambitious supervillain.

The 88-minute film by director Kyle Balda, was produced by Chris Renaud, Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, working in collaboration with production company Illumination. Made with a budget of US$85 million, the film easily earned over 52.1 million at the worldwide box-office on its opening weekend, backed by mostly positive to moderate ratings, with 64 per cent featured on Rotten Tomatoes, 60 per cent on Metacritic and 7.2/10 on IMDb. The film’s music by Brazilian composer Heitor Pereira received praise, while many also appreciated its entertainment value for children. It is the plot that has received criticism, with some wanting more from the core story.

This is a fun film that fans of Minions and Despicable Me will appreciate, as the adorably fun characters deliver drama with hilarious moments, every step of the way, on their mission. Gru’s origin story is one that is worth watching, together with franchise fans and the entire family.

By Nirupa Mohan Dore