Director: Kyle Balda
Cast: Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Taraji P. Henson (VOICES)
Release Date: September 6, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Long before he becomes the master of evil, Gru is just a 12-year-old boy in 1970s suburbia, plotting to take over the world from his basement. When the infamous supervillain group, the Vicious 6, ousts their leader, Gru attempts to join their ranks but soon finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. With Gru on the run, the Minions attempt to learn martial arts to help save him, and Gru discovers that even bad guys need a little help from their friends. Packed with the franchise’s signature subversive humor, MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU features more thrilling action than any Despicable Me film ever before!
Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ rejoins our favorite little troublemaking helpers in the 1970’s, now working for a 12-year old Gru who has begun to form his future criminal legacy. When Gru learns that there is an opening with a prestigious super-villain group, he naturally can’t help but try to join. Unfortunately, when things go terribly wrong, Gru finds himself caught up in a squabble between the group and his attempt to prove his talents with a bold move results in him becoming the group’s number one focus, but not in the right way. Now, it will be up to the Minions to track Gru down in hiding and try to save their boss. What could possibly go wrong?
‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ is a fun, swiftly paced and action-packed animated adventure with no shortage of laughs and amusing characters. It isn’t quite able to recreate the magic of the earlier ‘Despicable Me’ films but it never falls flat either and utilizes the humor and plenty of other silly, yet no less entertaining tidbits to keep you engaged and consistently laughing. As opposed to the previous prequel which focused primarily on a few key Minions, this follow-up instead tries to find a balance in order to provide adequate focus both on our beloved yellow helpers and a young version of Gru and allow each to shine and build up their storylines. The 1970’s setting for this installment makes a nice complement to the tale as well and allows for plenty of colorful outfits and surroundings which really help the stellar animation within to stand out and repeatedly impress along the way.
The beautifully animated new film is smoothly guided along by director Kyle Balda and Co-directors Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val; from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel and a story by Brian Lynch and Fogel. It only benefits all the more from a notable voice cast that includes Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Taraji P. Henson, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Julie Andrews, and Alan Arkin, with nearly all contributing to the fun in a positive way. If you’re a fan and haven’t yet had the chance to check this one out, it should at least be worthy of your time and the cost of a rental.
Overall, ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ rejoins the Minions in the 1970’s, now having joined forces with their longtime boss Gru as he begins his crime-fueled life as a young boy. The series may be getting a little ridiculous at this point and seems to be struggling somewhat for fresh ideas, but the tone and love for the characters still shines through and while it may not be outstanding in every possible way, the new film is certainly still an awful lot of fun. ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ is definitely recommended for fans of the franchise (as well as for those with little fans at home) who are sure to find plenty of love about this latest installment in the franchise. It may not be the best entry yet by any means but it has more than enough hilarity, over the top fun and amusing action to keep fans thoroughly entertained from start to finish and is well worth taking the time to check out.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding across the board and serves up a clean, smooth and vibrantly detailed presentation from start to finish that captures the gorgeous and richly colored animation splendidly without ever allowing any unexpected issues to be uncovered along the way. It looks spectacular down to every animated line and detail, even during the fast moving and darker moments occurring throughout. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that shouldn’t have any trouble thrilling fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is pretty magnificent in its own right and delivers a clean, crisp and consistently immersive audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send action and vehicle effects, bits of dialogue, music and plenty more zipping throughout the various speakers at every reasonable opportunity, and never clashing with any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds great every step of the way while contributing quite a bit of extra fun to the viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ features a nice collection of bonus content for fans of all ages. Included on the release are ‘2 New Mini Movies’ featuring the Minions: ‘Post Modern Minions’ (running approximately 4 minutes in length), and ‘Minions and Monsters’ (approximately 4 minutes). Also included is an ‘Extended Scene’ from the movie (85 seconds), and ‘Outtakes’ (approximately 3 minutes). We are also treated to various Behind the Scenes Featurettes, some how-to videos and more including ‘Character Profiles’ for a handful of characters (running approximately 16 minutes altogether), plus ‘Gru-vy Animation’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘The ‘70’s – Fashion, Food & Funk’ (5 minutes), ‘Minion Martial Arts’ (4 minutes), plus ‘How To Draw & Animate with Brad Ableson’ (approximately 11 minutes in total), ‘Lair Flair: Make Your Own Minion Hideout’ (10 minutes total) and ‘Super Style Shop’ (7 minutes altogether).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Minions: The Rise Of Gru’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Illumination & Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
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