DESPICABLE Me’s goggle-eyed hench-creatures are a deranged delight.
As unwitting heroes of their own big-screen adventure, these pint-sized “knights in shining denim” lose some of their loopy lustre, hindered by Brian Lynch’s script, which is light on storyline and laughs.
Very young children, who gurgle with glee at the Minions’ bonkers vernacular combining Esperanto and goobledygook, will adore the slapstick, and the tiniest member of the Minions clan, Bob, who clutches a well-loved teddy bear called Tim.
Adults will be harder to win over. The lack of a coherent storyline grates as much as the lazy cultural stereotyping of the British as tea-sipping, corgi-riding folk, who frequent pubs called The Pig’s Spleen.
Since the dawn of time, Minions have gravitated towards despicable masters, including T-Rex and Count Dracula.
Unfortunately, these masters die prematurely – at the hands of the clumsy, yellow hench-creatures – leaving the Minions in a deep depression.
One brave soul named Kevin steps forth to find an evil boss for his bald, jaundiced brethren.
Flanked by Stuart and scaredy-cat Bob, Kevin leaves the Minions’ ice cave retreat bound for 1968 New York City. Cue a President Richard Nixon billboard proclaiming “Finally: a name you can trust”.
Could the Minions have stumbled upon their arch-villain?
No. The plucky trio learns about a gathering of criminals in Orlando and hitches a ride to the convention with a bank-robbing family led by Walter Nelson (voiced by Michael Keaton) and wife Madge (Allison Janney).
Their daughter Tina points the Minions in the direction of super-villain Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock).
“If I was a minion, that’s who I’d want to work for,” she swoons.
Thus the trio pledges allegiance to Scarlet and her inventor husband Herb (Jon Hamm), who are plotting to steal the Crown Jewels.
While the soundtrack swings to The Kinks and The Who, Kevin, Stuart and Bob career around London armed with Herb’s nifty gadgets: a robo-suit, lava lamp gun and hypno-hat.
The 3D version doesn’t exploit the eye-popping format, so parents with tykes in tow should save their money for popcorn.
Check your local cinema for show times.