Big Hero 6 – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

big hero 6Big Hero 6 – 3.5/5 – There are some things that are constant in this world; death, taxes and the appeal of Disney.  When it comes to films produced by this company, you can expect one of two things:

Wholesome family treatment

Escapism into some fantastical world

No matter if it’s CGI or live-action; Disney films will touch you whole hearty.   Big Hero 6 is another ambitious film that swings into the realm of a fantastical world, but doesn’t hit its mark as a true ‘charming’ Disney flick.  Even with some hiccups along the way, Big Hero 6 is a thrilling ride that will represents how ‘science’ and being a ‘nerd’ can be awesome.

Premise: From a tragic event; Hiro must bring his friends together to fight a mysterious villain before his destructive path destroys San Fransokoyo.

This film is filled with many wonderful voice actors/actresses.  Since it’s a huge list of people, you can view the full list on the IMDB page.   In short; the voice acting (helped with the CGI) creates a cast that is strong, versatile and most importantly diverse.  From the group that forms Hiro’s ‘superhero’ team, to his aunt, and the villain (before the reveal), it is a mix of wonderful chemistry and charming interactions.  There is a great mix of dialogue, helping create a mood that is both ‘familiar’ and ‘fantastical’.  Even with them being CGI; they all feel real when they interact, especially in the emotional moments.  On the flip side, the one thing that comes across one dimensional is the obvious ‘twist’ of the villain.  This drowns any depth that was built up through the mystery, creating a standard ‘villain’ to take down for the group of friends.  Even with that setback, the overall acting job is great.

The direction of this film is filled with a lot of common setup, linear progression and origin elements.  This film (overall) is a setup for how the ‘Big Hero 6’ team comes together (origin tale).  At the same time, the film encompasses a lot of elements of science, intelligence and how education is power.  Those themes help the audience become enticed by what is happening in the film; especially in the first two acts. As it goes, we follow a young boy named Hiro.  He is a young protégé of science, who has the world at his hands to do most anything.  Through some convenient setups, he becomes enticed to go to the same university as his brother.  Through some dire circumstances and a touching moment; domino’s fall that triggers events for Hiro confronting a mask vigilant (who is using Hiro’s own invention against him).  This standard premise and buildup is very cliché (on the surface), but as the story progresses, you are grounded through the infusion of three strong tonal items:

Emotional Overtones

Intellectual realism

Fantastical elements

When you mix those first two with the fantastical elements of the city of San Fransokyo, it helps you fall into the sweeping allure of Hiro and this origin tale/journey.  What also helps the film stand out is it doesn’t ‘beat you over the head’ with certain aspect of the themes.  It lays the ground work in a delicate fashion that mixes humor, exposition and witty dialogue together.  The lines are enough to keep the kids attention and the adults entertain.  The film’s strong core story has added depth because of the mystery of the villain, his motives and Hiro’s robot sidekick Baymax.  That ‘buddy sidekick’ is very whimsical, and gives you heart, even as we get into the latter part of the film.  When we get here, the film does the unexpected; turns from a genius ‘charming’ story into a standard ‘action’ flick.  This happens with the twist of the villain.  This throws a wrench into the story, and force feeds a ‘secondary’ tale that convolutes the plot, direction and overall tone.  The film falls into that trap that gives you a predictable third act:

Uneccessary twist

Typical action set pieces

Anti-climatic confrontation into a sacrificial climax

Unlike some ‘endings’, when this one ends, it does enough to settle the messy third act, mostly through that ‘heart’ created between Baymax and Hiro.  Even with that ‘attempt’, the third act does drown the enthusiasm that you would have had to call it a definite charming experience.

The visuals of the film are some of the most imaginative, if not breathing taking CGI this year.  Outside of one other film (How to Train Your Dragon 2); Big Hero 6 does a great job in creating ‘sweeping’ looks of a futuristic city.  San Fransokoyo is blended with both Victorian and Japanese influences, helping creating something vividly unique.  Also; the creation of the robots and ‘action’ set pieces are a sight to behold, even if there execution is standard.  The score is a hit and miss.  There are times when the music brings you into a ‘pulse-pounding’ moment; but there are others where it just doesn’t help prop up that specific scene.

Big Hero 6 is mixed with a lot of wonderful elements.  Even with those positives, with the twist and standard third act, it becomes just another above average Disney film.  If you’re looking for a good film to take your family or you are a Disney fan, this is one for you.  Also; the short that plays in front of this (Feast) is probably the best short that Disney or Pixar has done.  This is worth a matinee; a good time at the theater.

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