TL;DR – While it might not hit as hard as its predecessors, it was still a joy to be back in this world.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film
Minions: The Rise of Gru Review –
This may be due to my never having children, much to my mother’s chagrin, but I have always liked the Despicable Me films. Gru (Steve Carell) discovering who he is through the prism of his daughter’s love and then becoming a better person for it. Well, that is some compelling stuff. Heck, I even like those quirky little minions always up to mischief. I think I was the only one who laughed at their cameo in Mortal Engines. I am sure that would have changed if I had been subjected to them time after time. But coming in here, I thought that Despicable Me 3 might have started to show the limits of this story, and I wondered could a prequel help?
So to set the scene, it is 1976, and a very different set of villains torment the globe, which the film wastes no time showing as we see Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson) race through town, evading the authorities at every turn. In the lair of The Vicious 6, she reveals to their leader Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin) a map to an ancient stone pendent of power. Well, one trip to Asia later, one betrayal, and one Bond-inspired title sequence later, there is now a free spot open in The Vicious 6, and a young Gru wants in.
TL;DR – When you can make a running tally of bad paedophile jokes and that is not the biggest problem with your film then you have some real problems.
Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Have you ever watched a film that is filled with talented people with an interesting concept, but it fails on almost every level. Well if you haven’t, I have the film for you, which shows you that you need to pick a tone when you start rather than trying to find one in production.
So to set the scene, Officer James Coffee (Ed Helms) is going through life, and not succeeding bar the fact that he is dating Vanessa Manning (Taraji P. Henson). Well in one day Vanessa’s son Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) found out they were sleeping together and he became the laughing stock of the police force when Orlando Johnson (RonReaco Lee) escapes from the back of his police cruiser. To get back at Coffee, Kareem sets it up so Coffee would take him to a friend’s place but instead it was to a place so he could get a beat down. Well, it all fell apart and now Kareem and Coffee are on the run.
TL;DR – A solid family film,with some great moments, but I am not sure it will have the same impact as the first film.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene
Creating films about the internet is something we are seeing more of as filmmakers try to incorporate this major part of our lives into the cinematic landscape. However, because the Internet is something that is both instantly familiar but also completely abstract, it actually is a difficult task to pull off as long as you don’t mind adding a crane shot into a cable. In the last year or so we have had the bad with The Emoji Film, and the amazing with Searching (see review), and today we have another entry into the genre with Ralph Breaks the Internet, which while not amazing, is still a fun ride.
TL;DR – Hidden Figures is an amazing film about our past and very much relevant in our present, that when you oppress people it holds everyone back.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Straight from the start, I should say I love movies about space, the history, NASA, the satellites, probes, and rockets, I watched the Curiosity landing even though it was very early in the morning here. So what I am saying is Hidden Figures, much like The Martian & The Dish, is a film that automatically peaks my interest before I make it to the cinema. This means that I have to be really careful when reviewing these films to make sure I am being objective and not just getting caught up in my joy of the subject material, but even with a cautious approach Hidden Figures still knocks it out of the park, or knocks it into orbit, or, wait no I think I am starting to mix metaphors here.