Audiences are about to see yellow yet again, as Minions: The Rise of Gru is currently showing in a theater near you. Family fun is in the cards for those who seek it, provided you’re ready to return to the Despicable Me world. Which means there’s plenty of room to ask one of our favorite questions to cover: To 3D or Not To 3D?
If you want to learn more about how the movie itself works as an experience, you can read our official review of Minions: The Rise of Gru and get my take on that matter. But is this sequel worth spending the extra 3D ticket money, or are you better off bidding on a vinyl copy of Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good?” That's what we're about to discuss as we slip on our glasses and prepare to 3-do this thing!
FIT SCORE - 5/5
The Despicable Me saga is one that’s been built for 3D since the beginning, as every entry has been presented in this premium format. The series has made itself open to the format from its earliest days to its current potential resurgence, so knowing that Minions: The Rise of Gru was going to be in 3D was a given. Which is good, because the improvement in the series’ handling of this format seems to be a good sign of studios taking it more seriously.
PLANNING & EFFORT - 4/5
To be completely honest, the Planning and Effort on Minions: The Rise of Gru was something I could spot quite early on. Having the chance to see the film in 2D beforehand, it was hard not to notice that Belle Bottom’s big motorcycle chase in the opening was built to be shown in this format. The rest of the film lives up to that hype rather well for the most part, but at the very least, the overall product is an improvement from Minions’ 3D showing back in 2015.
BEFORE THE WINDOW - 4/5
Compared to its predecessor, Minions 2 has improved in some places, but maintained inferiority in others. This entry is still superior to Despicable Me 3’s 3D results, especially when it comes to Before the Window thrills. From time to time, there’s a good usage of throwing objects and firing weapons into the audience’s proverbial laps.
With that in mind, the effect isn’t used as much as it could have been throughout Minions: The Rise of Gru. One moment, Gru looks like he’s dangling over the audience, but the next, the guns being aimed at enemies on screen are positioned in a less than optimal fashion. Before the Window thrills are decent on this one, but not perfect.
BEYOND THE WINDOW - 4/5
Perhaps the greatest improvement that the Minions series has made in its 3D presentation, the Beyond the Window factor actually shows much more depth than in its 2015 predecessor. San Francisco in particular looks gorgeous and deep thanks to its iconic hills playing a part in the Minion mayhem. The total effect comes up a bit short, but works for the most part.
As for the standard Beyond the Window protocols, characters and environments are definitely defined. Letting your eye wander around the screen, you can even see the depth crafted in something as simple as a crowd of Minions in Gru’s basement. It may not go the extra mile, but Minions: The Rise of Gru steps up the game of this particular 3D illusion within its own series.
BRIGHTNESS SCORE - 3/5
For as colorful and vibrant the world of Minions: The Rise of Gru happens to be, the brightness factor of the showing observed was more of a disappointment than usual. When putting on your 3D glasses, you’d naturally observe a slightly grayer picture through the polarized lenses.
While this isn’t as washed out as other inferior 3D products may be, especially since night scenes can still be enjoyed without too much loss, there’s a noticeable murkiness in darker lit scenes. As always, your mileage may vary depending on the theater you choose to visit. In this case, Minions: The Rise of Gru lost quite a bit of the sunshine it’s promising to turn back on.
GLASSES OFF SCORE - 5/5
Should you remove your glasses during a 3D presentation, you’d be able to see the typical visual blurring that is indicative of the image being manipulated into a third dimensional product. With Minions: The Rise of Gru, the blur factor is plentiful throughout the movie, with the standard 2D anchor points co-existing with a wide range of blurred elements.
AUDIENCE HEALTH - 5/5
There is a lot of fast-paced action in Minions: The Rise of Gru that could potentially wonk out the eyes of unsuspecting audience members. Otto’s super-speedy big wheel voyage alone had the potential to add some problems to the 3D visuals. Yet not even the dimming of this very bright and colorful world manages to make it unwatchable. Action is shown in a way that’s clear and easy to follow, without eye strain or nausea as much of a concern.
FINAL VERDICT: 30/35
In the grand scheme of the franchise, Despicable Me 2 is still the 3D champ. Outside of that caveat, Minions: The Rise of Gru is enough fun in 3D to recommend it over a standard 2D showing. Even though I'm not a fan of this movie, I can admit the fact that there was a clear amount of love put into the 3D conversion of this computer animated comedy.
Something else I've noticed is that while the number of 3D releases seems to be slowly, but surely increasing, the quality seems to be improving as well. Here's hoping that good fortune applies to next week's big spectacle, as Marvel Studios is returning to the third dimension with Thor: Love and Thunder. Could it be another eye-popper like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness's 3D showstopper, or are we looking at another Eternals style letdown? Time will tell.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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