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A tribe of weird yellow creatures that babble barely comprehensible gibberish are not the most obvious leads for a movie, especially when their origin is as sidekicks. Nonetheless, the Minions were the breakout stars of 2010’s Despicable Me and, after their enlarged role in Despicable Me 2, they prove themselves more than capable of commanding a whole film, as Minions had me laughing from start to finish. This is largely due to directors Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin’s talent for slapstick humour, combined with genuine affection for their creations. The exploits of Kevin, Bob, Stuart and the rest of their tribe (all voiced by Coffin) are especially enjoyable because of the film’s affection for them – there is no spite or meanness in the film’s wit and invention. Furthermore, at a time when Jurassic World raises anger over its presentation of women, Minions manages to be surprisingly progressive, as Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock) is a wonderfully realised and rounded character, not defined by gender or hampered by stereotype. Minions manages to be surprising and impressive in its gender politics, while delivering on the laughs and ample instances of “BANANA!



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