Review: Minions

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Bob. Kevin. Stuart. Seeking evil wherever they can find it.
07/10/2015

I’M A MINION TOO.

It was only a matter of time before the now-ubiquitous, gibberish-spewing, violence-loving Minions from the Despicable Me franchise got a movie of their own. Here it is. The results? Meh.

While there are certainly some good moments of humor – albeit rude and crude as should be expected with these yellow whatever-they-ares – it’s a bit too sporadic for the film’s 90-ish minute run time, and frankly, it almost would have been better for Universal studios to just make a series of short films about the Minions and push them together. It’s not a bad movie, and the kids will be entertained, but it’s also the weakest in the franchise and lacks both the heart and intelligence of the two Despicable movies. As a parent, if you loved the other two movies, you’ll be alright with it and make the best of it. If you don’t love the other two, well, you’re a good parent for tolerating it anyway. For me, it was *just* enough fun that I didn’t feel like I utterly wasted my money. Trying to stay positive here.

What I find most interesting about Minions, and I think the big Gospel takeaway for parents, is the proclivity of the Minions to seek out someone to serve. As the evolution-themed opening credits show, it’s just in their yellow DNA to find a master – or “boss” as they would say. Without a boss to follow, they are listless, depressed, devoid of purpose. And I realized, “Huh – that’s how I am too. I’m a Minion.”

We all seek out someone – or at least something – to follow and serve. It’s wired into us. Even more interesting, that desire to serve is bent towards wickedness. I personally don’t buy into the notion that mankind is inherently good. I’ve experienced too much in life (and in my own life choices) to believe otherwise. My tendency, like the Minions, is to seek out evil, not good.

We all seek out a master of our lives. For some, it may be a political stance, or a relationship, or a health routine, or a parenting style, or a fashion choice, or a lifelong dream. Not to say that these are bad things in of themselves, but they make lousy masters. A person’s identity coincides with whatever or whoever they serve. It’s true for the Minions. It’s true for us as humans. It’s true for me.

Identifying one’s master comes down to a sometimes painful process of pseudo-Freudian self-analysis: “What do I think about the most?” “What gets me the most upset?” “What gets me the most excited?” “What do I post about online the most?” “What do I do or think when no one else is around?” That is your master.

As Peter teaches us in the context of a false teacher, “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them,” (2 Peter 2:19), whether that be money, food, sex, drugs, gossip, rock ‘n’ roll, or – gasp – even religion. Ultimately, there is only one Master worthy of our full devotion, only one who changes our natural inclination to chase after evil. Paul gives us this hope in Romans 6:14, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”

Only a Master full of grace can turn us from our natural bent for wickedness to a supernatural desire for goodness. And while it’s cute and funny to laugh at the Minions chasing after their next evil boss in a movie, in real life, it’s an entirely different story. That’s why I have to acknowledge I’m a Minion. I may not be yellow, I may not wear denim overalls, and I may have a slightly better vocabulary, but in my heart I’m just like them. I’m a Minion too. Amee cama to? (Translation: How about you?)

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