Before I start this review I must make one thing clear: It takes a lot to get me to watch a movie.
Movie nights at my house, no matter who I’m with, are a struggle of herculean proportions. To even consider watching a movie, I have to study the critical ratings, who made it, and sometimes even what age group it’s for.
For instance, if you have looked at my Trailer Talk series, I often give high scores to trailers. But even those movies I do not end up watching.
I am telling you all of this, so that this next part has some context.
I chose to watch Big Hero 6, after hearing only two sentences:
- It’s a Marvel movie.
- It’s made by the creators of Frozen & Wreck-It Ralph
That was all it took. The second I got the chance I grabbed all my usual movie-watching buddies, and got to my nearest theater.
And, it’s a good thing too. Because I loved it.
In a break from form, I am trying a new type of reviewing method. Not only am I going to do my usual list, but I am also going to talk about each part of the movie in its own section. So that I can properly analyse the various aspects that make up this wonderful film. Starting with…
This portion of the movie is, surprisingly, the weakest bit of the entire film. At this point in the Marvel movie extravaganza that is the last few years, they have gotten really good at making a cookie-cutter superhero story. Which, well still completely workable, can get a bit boring when you watch as many superhero movies as I do.
It’s become a sort of game now to see how many of the tropes they try to use.
For those keeping track at home, take a drink when:
- The heroes learn of the villain’s plot through a video presentation. Take two if it’s in an abandon lab/ base.
- A character makes a joke about how they don’t understand a pop culture reference or pun. Take two if they try to act on the statement literally.
- There is a “suit-up” scene.
- A character that is in some way inhuman or augmented self-sacrifices, but comes back to life through trickery.
- A magical or pseudo-science object begins to cause issues and then is pursued by both the hero(es) and villain(s).
But despite all of these thing occurring at least to some degree during its run time. The story still manages to show a lot of heart, and keeps the whole thing fresh enough that you won’t get bored.
But of course the real heart of the movie is its characters, so onto…
The movie shines in this regard. The characters are all so memorable and creative, that even the ones that get about five lines throughout the whole thing still feel endearing. They seem like friends that we all have had, and that goes a long way to making you love them.
There are six of them in the movie, but the film really only focuses on two of them. Which is probably a good idea, as it does not spread the story too thin underneath the weight of it all.
The first is Hiro Hamada, a fourteen year old boy with a brain that would make Dexter take a second look.
He is a master of robotics, and a lover of bot fighting. The decision for him to be the main character was an obvious one. He’s young and brilliant and a superhero; basically a child version of Iron Man. What about that does not appeal to the target demographic?
Yet, he is not a Marty Stu (a male Mary Sue), and throughout the film actually ends up walking towards the edge of the dark side. Only being pulled back at the last second. He is a surprisingly complex character, who has to deal with problems that even people my age face. In fact he might just be one of the best child/teen characters ever created by Disney. Ever.
Then to top off this pile of awesome, they created the best side-kick character in years.
If you have followed this movie at all, then you know him, and you already love him. Even without seeing the film.
Ladies, gentlemen. I present…Baymax
Stealing the award for cutest robot from Wall-E was only his first achievement. He is loyal, funny, and a very realistic look at how robots might actually work in the future. He is the heart of the movie, and the comedy center as well. The movie suffers every time he is not on the screen. Everything from the way he walks, to his voice is endearing.
I want one.
But what is a superhero movie without a super villain? Boring! We can’t have that, so…
I can only say a little about this villain, as who he is, and what his plans are, would be a heavy spoiler. But, what I can say, is that he has one of the coolest super powers ever! Yet again trying to avoid spoilers, but he controls black ooze by will. Allowing him to take out an entire army with thoughts.
His animation is spectacular, and the reveal of who he is, nearly tops even that. A perfect challenge for a team starting out.
Now, normally the analysis would move to the scoreboard, but in this case, I need to take a second to talk about another aspect of this film.
Welcome to San Fransokyo, an island city mash-up of Tokyo and San Francisco. Filled with beautiful gadgets and powered by wind (this is not outright stated, but there are wind turbines in the sky everywhere). It’s a beautifully imagined science fiction setting, and works as the perfect backdrop to this type of story. A place where robots are not out of the realm of imagination, and science is celebrated.
I want to live there.
So, with that all said and done, there is only one thing left to do.
TO THE CHECKLIST!
- The movie is clever and smart. Check!
- The viewer experiences the emotion or tone that was intended by the director. Check!
- The main characters are interesting, dynamic, and not stereotypical. DOUBLE, NO, TRIPLE CHECK!
- The movie is not a remake, prequel, sequel, or a mid-quell. If it is one, it needs to be better than the original. CHECK!
- Engaging and well paced. Basically stuff happens at a good pace. CHECK!
- Has a story worth telling. CHECK!
- Has a satisfying resolution. THE KIND THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT LIFE! CHECK!
- General technical excellence. Camera angles are good, and the lighting is pleasing to look at. CCCCCHHHHHEEEEECCCCCKKKKK!
- The movie does not have any plot holes in it. One minor one… right at the end.
- Not predictable, story does not follow a paint by numbers plot. I made a drinking game for this earlier…
A super 8/10, making this movies final score…
- Score: 8/10
- Buy or Rent: Buy
- Rewatch Value: High. If you have kids, this will happen a lot. They will demand it replayed.
That’s another movie down. But this is the Christmas season, the time were the high quality stuff comes out to play. So expect more reviews on the way.
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