Minions Movie Mania

A group of #gentleminions congregating in anticipation of “Minions: The Rise of Gru”.

Nathaniel Leiva

A group of #gentleminions congregating in anticipation of “Minions: The Rise of Gru”.

Director: Kyle Balda

MPAA Rating: PG

Our Rating: C

The best movies elicit laughs, relaxation and enjoyment from viewers. However, the newest Minions film created discord among moviegoers. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is the fifth installment in the “Despicable Me” franchise starring Steve Carell as Gru, the villainous protagonist. The release of the film into theaters on July 1, 2022 sparked a short-lived trend on TikTok known as #gentleminions in which teenagers dressed up in suits when going to the premiere. The announcement of the film’s release and the subsequent TikTok trend had fans of the series genuinely excited to see where a young Gru’s felonious activities would land him, and of course, to reunite with their favorite yellow friends – the minions.

“I think fans like myself were excited to see this movie because of the hype that was created on social media platforms, and the last time we saw a ‘Minion’ or ‘Despicable Me’ movie was over 5 years ago in 2017, so it created a big crowd,” senior Yulian Ochoa said.

Despite the excitement, the movie’s reviews seem to be split amongst audiences and critics alike. Generally, fans agree that the film disappointed, especially when considering the influx of viewers on the day of release. Critic Siddhant Adlakha argues that “Whatever semblance of story The Rise of Gru features, it wobbles like the empty skin-suit of a real kids’ movie.”

“The movie itself, I’d rate it an eight out of ten. It was good, it was funny, but it wasn’t the best in the ‘Despicable Me’ universe,” senior Armando Camejo said.

The minions’ antics and unintelligible speech tap into everyone’s inner child, providing a steady stream of enjoyment for audiences of all ages. However, the slapstick comedy simply masks the hollow plot, which lacks logical flow. Additionally, the antagonists of the story act and speak as shells of people without any interesting personality traits or quirks. Whilst the movie cries out for substance, the #gentleminions trend piqued the interest of many and certainly aided the film in its success.

“I love the entire idea behind the trend. When I went to see the movie, there was a group of teenagers all dressed in suits and they attracted lots of attention, which was funny,” senior Julio Bonjoch said.

The videos resulting from the trend were also met with mixed reviews. Some theaters decided to deny these groups entry for being disruptive; others have stopped airing the film altogether. However, the makers of the movie have acknowledged and even shown their appreciation for the trend on Twitter. The creators have gone as far as to join the wave, showing off their own #gentleminions. It is definitely a relief that the trend could connect communities. However, trends that are meant to uplift members of these communities should not harm the experience of fellow viewers. 

The joke functions on the fact that people normally dress nicely for important events such as prom, weddings and award ceremonies. Participants dress so snazzily to suggest that the release of the film is one of these occasions. These groups definitely bring with them entertainment that a film alone cannot provide. Unfortunately, like most trends, #gentleminions is already a memory.

Ultimately, “Rise of Gru” is entertaining and keeps consistent with previous installments in the franchise. Regardless of its mixed reception, the movie has been a smashing success in the box office for films released in 2022. Most would agree that it is worth a watch, but it is likely not in the running for the top ten movies of all time. While amusing, “Rise of Gru” is forgettable at best. Nonetheless, the trend produced by the film is certainly one to reminisce.