The “Despicable Me” franchise and its “Minions” spin-offs have always been about a simple premise and an absurd execution—a formula that currently makes them the highest-grossing animated film franchise of all time. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” follows a similar path, and it leaves us in splits while doing so. There is a defining theme of parodying iconic movies where the hero saves the day, as it should be. Also, while the film narrates the story of how Gru started on his path to being a supervillain, it is undoubtedly the minions who steal the show. Let us take a look at the hilariously absurd story that makes us root for all the wrong people.
How Gru And The Minions Start Their Journey Of Super-Villainy?
The film starts not with the minions or with Gru, but with the Vicious 6, headed by the legendary Wild Knuckles, who sets out on a mission to retrieve the Zodiac Stone. It would allow them to harness the powers of the entire Chinese Zodiac. Yes, it does not make much sense to us either. But coming back to the story, Wild Knuckles goes on the quest with his team and retrieves the stone. However, he is betrayed by them and left to die. The Vicious 6 is now just Belle Bottom, Nun Chucks, Jean Clawed, Svengeance, and Stronghold. But unknown to them, Wild Knuckles is alive and is planning his return.
Coming to Gru’s story arc, we see that he is already on his way to being a villain when he throws a stink bomb in a packed theater to empty it. Or when he tempts people who work out with lots of ice cream. Basically, he is already up to no good when he receives a letter stating that he has been selected for an interview to be a part of Vicious 6. Gru is excited about it, but he is not sure what to do with his minions now. Considering that this is a young Gru we are looking at, While he does house them all, he is still not completely sure of the value they bring to his life, which is why he tells them to stay back as he embarks on the next step—an interview with his favorite group of villains. But he is disappointed when they reject him for being a child. In a spur-of-the-moment impulse, he steals the zodiac stone to prove to them that his being a child does not affect his capability to be a villain. Unfortunately, things go awry when one of his minions, Otto, loses the zodiac stone, which puts Gru in danger. He is kidnapped by Wild Knuckles, who witnessed the entire episode, and he demands that the minions bring the zodiac stone to San Francisco if they want Gru back safe and sound.
Three of them—Stuart, Kevin, and Bob—set out for the rescue, and Otto follows a biker who has the zodiac stone. He eventually manages to get the stone and make friends with him as well. There is a sweet montage of him coming to San Francisco with the biker, and becoming friends for life with him. On the other hand, Stuart, Kevin, and Bob are facing their own set of challenges. Unable to rescue Gru, they start learning kung fu from Master Chow. These 5 minutes of the movie are a hilarious parody of “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Karate Kid.” It has our definite approval. In the meantime, the Vicious 6 are under the impression that Gru is working with Wild Knuckles to steal the stone, and they must now kill them both. Back in San Francisco, Gru and Wild Knuckles have formed a sort of mentor-mentee relationship, and they also care for each other. But when one day, the latter finds his house destroyed by the Vicious 6, he tells Gru to leave and that he would not be able to help him. Dejected, Gru sets out, not knowing anymore what to do.
‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ Ending Explained: Is Wild Knuckles Alive? Does Gru Defeat The Vicious 6?
While wandering the streets of San Francisco, Gru comes across Otto and finds the zodiac stone. Unfortunately, the Vicious 6 reached there at the same time and immediately took it away. As the clock strikes 12, the powers of the stone are absorbed by them, and they are now in control of the powers of the Zodiac. They tie up Gru to a clock tower, with the intention of letting him get ripped up by the hands of the clock. But the minions arrive just in time and, with their kung fu skills, manage to keep the villains in check. Wild Knuckles also reaches out to them, and he says that while he may have lost everything, he isn’t going to let Gru die at their hands. In the fight that follows, the zodiac stone is separated from Belle Bottom, and Gru manages to take away their powers and turn them into rats, thus ending the fight.
Wild Knuckles is severely injured but alive. He is taken away by the anti-villain squad, and it is shown that he dies in prison. However, as Gru is giving a tearful eulogy, he sees Wild Knuckles hiding behind a tree and realizes that he has faked his death. Once they are alone, he tells him that he can’t wait to pull a similar stunt in the future. So yes, Wild Knuckles is alive, the Vicious 6 has been defeated, and Gru is all set for a future full of adventures. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” chose a very sweet ending, where we see the innocence of a child being preserved, a child who idolizes villains, but a child nonetheless.
Final Thoughts – What Works For ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’?
The franchise already has a solid fan base and a lot of history and references that come up in “Minions: The Rise of Gru.” But even as an independent story, it holds its ground very well. Be it Gru’s cuteness, or how out of place he looks amidst big, bulky villains when he goes for the interview, or just the absurd antics of the minions. We can see that they established a parallel of sorts between Stuart, Kevin, and Bob and Margo, Edith, and Agnes. At the heart of it, it is a story of good vs. evil. Gru wants to be a villain so badly, but he has that humanity and empathy that puts him on the side of the good time and again, never letting him be a complete villain but definitely making him a hero. Whether it be how he comes to respect and value the minions or how he proves his loyalty to Wild Knuckles, we recognize a good heart when we see one, and that makes Gru the right person to root for.
We feel like we might see Wild Knuckles once again in “Despicable Me 4,” but since the tentative date for that is 2024, we won’t count on it too much. The franchise has been running for a decade with multiple short films that have built on the storyline. Wild Knuckle’s story doesn’t quite feel complete to us, and it would be interesting to see more of his role in Gru’s life. Other than that, we are fans of everything Minions and despicable and can’t wait for whatever’s next in this universe of the most adorable villains.
“Minions: The Rise of Gru” is a 2022 Animated Adventure film directed by Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson, and Jonathan del Val.