I used to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was a wee-little-Dudebro, kicking it around my hood, chilling with my dudefriendbros. We’d each dress up like one of the turtles and run around scaring the shit out of Old Mrs. Flanagan.(She died of a heart attack a few years later. I hope it was unrelated. But I’m not a fucking doctor.)
Obviously, as kids do, we each had a favorite turtle. Even then, before my balls dropped, I knew I was all about Michelangelo. The dude partied harder than all the other turtles AND got to swing around nun-chucks like a fucking boss. Sign me up, cause that’s the turtle I want to be, Fucktards.
The problem was, every kid wanted to be Mikey or Raphael? Why? Because they were the more interesting turtles. Raph was cool but rude. Donatello got to build machines. All Leo got to do was lead the team. Big fucking deal, I could boss around a bunch of turtles. Call me when you get an actual characteristic, Leo. Straight men like Leo are often fucking boring and easily overshadowed by crazier, more interesting, characters. Despicable Me 2 is a wonderful example of this phenomenon.
Despicable Me 2 stars Reformed Evil Dude Gru as he tries to save the world by falling in love. That’s it. It’s a very thin plot because Evil Dude Gru gets about as much story as his sidekicks, The Minions, who totally steal the show. The entire film is a test run for The Minion Movie.
They’re seriously in it all the time. It’s nearly impossible to escape these beautifully rendered little guys. Each scene without them works, the film is perfectly passable without them, but it’s hard to care much about Reformed Evil Dude Gru when there are characters with greater energy and likability vying for screen-time.
I don’t think many people will complain about this either. The Minions fucking rule. They’re little. They’re loud. They should be annoying as shit. But for some reason they’re so perfectly daffy that you want more of them. This isn’t exactly a new thing, as sidekicks go, but it rarely has worked out so well in the past.
A similar thing happened in Pirates of the Caribbean. Orlando Bloom was supposed to anchor that film onto stardom. That is, until Johnny Depp swam in and turned a thankless sidekick role into the main course. The sequels then starred Captain Jack and Bloom got fired after the third pirates.
Hell, the same thing happened to the first Ninja Turtles Movie. Leo was so boring that the entire moral center of that film belongs to Raphael. In fact, Raph is pretty much the main character of all the Turtle movies, except for Turtles 2, Vanilla Ice stole that shit like a bandit. So, Reformed Evil Dude Gru should really watch his back because, if The Minion Movie does well next year, I hardly see a reason for Despicable Me 3 to entice the audience.