“Minions: The Rise of Gru” (Universal)
By Catholic News Service
A ’70s vibe adds verve to this animated origin story of the paradoxically good-hearted would-be supervillain of the title (voice of Steve Carell). A preteen in the days of disco, he already yearns to join a crew of famed criminals (their founder voiced by Alan Arkin) and, in an effort to impress them, swipes a jewel-studded pendant endowed with magical powers. But complications imperil him, and the diminutive, comically incomprehensible creatures whom he’s taken under his wing scramble to rescue their beloved leader.
The laughs come frequently in director Kyle Balda’s addition to a franchise that began with 2010’s “Despicable Me” and the script’s emphasis on loyalty, teamwork and true friendship is pleasing. Yet the fact that the gang the protagonist aspires to join includes a traditionally habited nun (voice of Lucy Lawless) may prove slightly grating to parents of faith, though her screen time is fleeting.
Much comic mayhem, brief irreverent and mild scatological humor, glimpses of partial rear cartoon nudity. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.