Jeri Jacquin

Coming this Friday from director Kyle Balda, Illumination and Universal Pictures comes the story behind MINIONS: The Rise of Gru.

Twelve-year-old Gru (Steve Carell) is not your average kid growing up in the 70’s. While all other children want to be doctors and teachers when they grow up, Gru wants to become a member of the supervillains Vicious 6. What he does not know is that the Vicious 6 have just ousted their glorious leader Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin).

So now interviews are being held by the remaining members Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson), Jean Clawed (Jean-Claude Van Damme), Nunchuck (Lucy Lawless), Svengeance (Dolph Lundgren) and Stronghold (Danny Trejo). Gru can not believe he is actually going into interview and must tell his beloved Minions, especially Kevin, Stuart, Bob and Otto (Pierre Coffin) that he must now go alone.

Trying to prove himself, Gru takes a medallion that has powers and once the Vicious 6 realize it has been taken, they are on the hunt for the kid. That is until Kevin sees Gru being kidnapped by Wild Knuckles and with Stuart and Bob, they are off to find him in San Francisco but so are the Vicious 6.

Finding it difficult to navigate the streets of San Fran, the minions meet Master Chow (Michelle Yeoh) who teaches them a bit of the martial arts to help them rescue Gru! In a sort of change of heart, Wild Knuckles has taken a shine to young Gru and puts his skills to the test.

All of this leads to a smack down in San Francisco’s Chinatown!

Carell as Gru manages to take an older Gru’s voice and bring it down to a twelve-year-old’s size. As usual, his vocals bring fun and giggles to the character he has made so famous since DESPICABLE ME in 2010.   

Henson as Belle Bottom is a funky 70’s supervillain that wants so much more. Seemed quite easy for her to turn on her own mentor because absolute power corrupts absolutely. Arkin as Wild Knuckles is an aged supervillain who didn’t see betrayal coming. Well, now he wants revenge and he will use Gru to get it. Typical bad guy but well-done Mr. Arkin.

Yeoh as Master Chow was very funny but then again, I enjoy everything Michelle Yeoh does so welcome to the animated world. Van Damme, Lawless, Lundgren and Trejo as the other pieces of the Vicious 6 get a chance to show a little of their own evilness along with their fantastic gadgetry. I wonder who had a part in that? 

Brand gives us a look at a young Dr. Nefario and his part in Gru’s history as well. I was thrilled to hear Julie Andrews again as Gru’s mother. There is a look at her interesting side as well.

Other cast include RZA as the biker, Will Arnett as Mr. Perkins, Steve Coogan as Silas Ramsbottom, Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario and the beloved and iconic Ms. Julie Andrews as Marlena Gru.

Illumination, founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007, is one of the industry’s leading producers of event animated films. Bringing the DESPICABLE ME franchise, to include Minions, features some of the world’s most renowned talent. To read more please visit

Universal Pictures has films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films that have entertained generations such as the recent JURASSIC PARK: Dominion. For more of what they have to offer please visit

MINIONS: The Rise of Gru is a film that is great for family’s this holiday weekend and I’m sure it will do well. Coming in at one hour and twenty-seven minutes everyone has a chance to have a good giggle.

The story itself, I have to say, felt a bit disconnected. In the sense of why didn’t they call it DESPICABLE ME: The Rise of Gru instead of MINIONS: The Rise of Gru. Honestly, Gru got more screen time than the Minions in the plot of the story. So, yes, I was expecting more Minion-ness.

That being said the film is fun, charming and entertaining. The music was definetly 70’s and THAT I liked a lot. It’s always a treat when a film truly knows how to use music to its advantage and MINIONS: The Rise of Gru plays that funky music well.

In the end – it’s kung fu fighting time!



Recommend to friends
  • gplus
  • pinterest

About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.