When the aliens finally invade, they will find the vestiges of our Minions-based civilization and wonder just what the hell happened here. Having lived through it, I could not possibly begin to explain just how these hot dog-shaped, banana-hued, gibberish-speaking overlords came to infiltrate our culture at every level, storming onto screens big and small, emblazoned onto merchandise, looming large on inflatable statuary, haunting our nightmares.

The grasp these inexplicable animated creatures hold on cinema is insidious, and they continue their reign of terror in their latest cinematic dispatch, “Minions: The Rise of Gru.” They’ve overthrown their masters in the “Despicable Me” franchise, wresting top billing away for themselves. “The Rise of Gru” is just another “Despicable Me” movie, a supervillain origin story for beaky-nosed, scarf-wearing, evil aspirant Gru (Steve Carell).

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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