Reviewed by: Eric Tiansay
What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Answer
Steve Carell … Gru (voice)
Pierre Coffin … Kevin / Stuart / Bob / Minions (voice)
Taraji P. Henson … Belle Bottom (voice), the newly-appointed leader of The Vicious 6
Jean-Claude Van Damme … Jean Clawed (voice)
Michelle Yeoh … Master Chow (voice)
Dolph Lundgren … Svengeance (voice)
Lucy Lawless … Nunchuk (voice), a member of The Vicious 6 who is a nun and wields nunchucks
Danny Trejo … Stronghold (voice)
RZA … a biker (voice)
Julie Andrews … Marlena Gru (voice)
Russell Brand … Dr. Nefario (voice), an absent-minded scientist who eventually becomes Gru’s assistant in the future
Alan Arkin … Wild Knuckles (voice)
Rk Rakesh Boro … Special Appearance
Jonathan del Val
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The fifth film in the “Despicable Me” franchise has gone retro and it’s far out, funky and groovy.
Set in the heart of the 1970s, amidst a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” tells the origin story of 12-year-old's Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) dream to become the world's greatest supervillain.
A sequel to “Minions,” which was a prequel to the first two films in the series, the animated movie provides fans more of what they’ve seen, specifically Gru acting nefarious, the lovable Minions acting silly, and lots of clever quips and gags that will go over young audiences’ heads but amuse grown ups.
Laugh out loud funny, The Rise of Gru is an entertaining and feel-good (albeit mindless) summer blockbuster that is mostly family-friendly. It’s certainly much more enjoyable than Pixar’s Lightyear!
The Illumination Studios movie, which features colorful, top-notch animation, espouses themes of sticking together, not giving up, loving others and discovering a family. Like the other titles in the franchise, the film features plenty of bathroom humor, including fart guns and limited views of buttocks nudity in scenes of comedy.
Also, small children may be scared by the supervillains who become scarier toward the film’s end. Additionally, Catholics may take offense with a nun character with nunchuks who is portrayed as a villain.
Speaking of which, Gru is a fanboy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6--Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin), Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson), Jean Clawed (Jean-Claude Van Damme), Svengeance (Dolph Lundgren), Nunchuk (Lucy Lawless) and Stronghold (Danny Trejo).
Gru hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. Fortunately, he gets some mayhem-making back-up from his loyal followers, the Minions. Together, Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto--a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—deploy their skills as they and Gru build their first lair, experiment with their first weapons, and pull off their first missions.
So when the Vicious 6 oust their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles, Gru interviews to become their newest member. It doesn't go well (to say the least), and only gets worse after Gru outsmarts them and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil.
On the run, Gru will turn to an unlikely source for guidance, Wild Knuckles, and discover that even bad guys need a little help from their friends. Meanwhile, the Minions receive some kung fu lessons from unassuming acupuncturist Master Chow (Michelle Yeoh).
Part of what “The Rise of Gru” makes a fun movie is its lively soundtrack, including classic '70s hits such as “Like an Eagle,” “Dance to the Music,” ”Black Magic Woman,” “You’re No Good” and “Funkytown.”
“The Rise of Gru” is another example of Hollywood’s penchant for milking a cash cow movie series. But unlike some other franchises (I’m calling you out, “Fast and Furious”), the “Despicable Me” films are amusing and believable.
The “Despicable Me” franchise—“Despicable Me” (2010). “Despicable Me 2” (2013), “Minions” (2015) and “Despicable Me 3” (2017)—have grossed more than $3.7 billion globally.
“The Rise of Gru,” which has garnered a 92 percent audience score and 69 percent critics grade on Rotten Tomatoes, is expected to illuminate the July 4 weekend box office with a $70 million debut. The film reportedly has an $85 million budget.
Featuring no deep meaning or higher message, “The Rise of Gru” is a simple carefree movie that presents another feel-good dose of bad behavior, which likely will be despicably welcomed by some audiences.
Content Watch: “The Rise of Gru” is rated PG for some action/violence and rude humor. There are frequent burps and fart jokes, but no profanity. Nunchuk shouts Hallelujah, but not as a praise to God. The movie’s plot device, the Zodiac Stone, has some type of special powers that is not fully explained. A character does yoga and there are New Age references, including a guru. There are comedic sequences of physical combat and slapstick violence, involving kicks and punches which are shown in slow-motion but without any injury detail. Villains magically transform into monsters who attack protagonists. A character is tied to the hands of a clock, which causes him to stretch alarmingly, but he is rescued before actual damage occurs.
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My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4