Sobel reviews one of Illumination’s latest movies: The Rise of Gru


Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Sobel reviews The Rise of Gru.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

Illumination presents “The Rise of Gru,” a new movie including the minions which includes Gru’s backstory of how he became this infamous villain as he is displayed today. This is the sequel to the Minions (2015) and the fifth movie in the Despicable Me series. This movie is different compared to the rest in the series as it tells the story of Gru’s life before he becomes a villain and is basically any 12-year-old’s dream in becoming the greatest supervillain. The other movies really focus on the villain Gru is today so that is where they are different. The audience really gets to see the untold story of how he becomes a powerful villain.

Gru was a die-heart fanboy of the supervillain supergroup The Vicious 6. After, they are looking for a new member because their former legendary martial arts fighter Wild Knuckles was betrayed by the group as they let him fall to death. Gru takes this as the perfect opportunity to join in. He winds up getting an interview with the group and wants to be as evil as they already are. However, the interview does not go so well as they do not select him to be the next member. Upset as Gru is, the minions hatch a plan to cheer him up. Otto, one of the minions, shows Gru the famous Zodiac Stone, a precious artifact that belongs to the super-villain group. Gru steals the stone and as he does it confidently, the group realizes just as he is exiting and tries to catch Gru. Surprisingly, Gru finds himself kidnapped with the former leader, Wild Knuckles, his favorite super villain.

Captured by his favorite super-villain Wild Knuckles, Gru realizes the only thing he wants is the Zodiac Stone. However, the stone is not with Gru. The minions are in the hands of the stone. Knuckles calls the minions and asks for the stone to be brought to him in San Francisco which is where Gru is getting tortured by him in two days. Three out of the many minions fly out to San Francisco to save Gru.

With such little time, the minions find themselves on the streets of San Francisco in a Kung Fu studio to try and take the bodyguards down who are holding Gru hostage in Wild Knuckles household. The master of Kung Fu successfully takes down the bodyguards of Wild Knuckles and trains the minions. Back at home with the other minions, The Vicious 6 show up in hopes of finding Gru.

As the days with Wild Knuckles goes by, the audience comes to realize that he is helping Gru to be a better villain. With Wild Knuckles’ assistance, Gru is able to take on bigger challenges such as the Bank of Evil. The Vicious 6 break into Wild Knuckles’ house only to find Gru not there.

Successfully meeting up with his minions again, Gru receives the stone from Otto and gives it back to Wild Knuckles. Only in a matter of seconds does The Vicious 6 show up and he is cornered by them. However, the anti-villain league appears and corners The Vicious 6. Belle, (one of The Vicious 6 leaders) grabs the stone and utilizes its powers to turn her and the group into huge animal monsters. Gru finds himself stuck on a clock tower. With the minions coming to his rescue, they are able to take down the group and save Gru.

This movie really demonstrates that although bad guys are displayed as bad and independent, even they need help from their friends. This is exactly what Gru demonstrated towards the end of the movie. With preparation from Wild Knuckles, he was able to teach him what really matters: that nothing can be done alone and how to become the greatest villain of all time. In the company of the minions and Wild Knuckles, Gru was able to successfully take The Vicious 6 down. With the impact Wild Knuckles has on Gru’s character, he is now portrayed as the greatest villain in the earlier movies. This movie is definitely a great focus on Gru’s backstory before he became the greatest villain that we know him as.