Sunday, 4 January 2015

Today's Review: Big Hero 6

With the massive success of Frozen, it seemed Disney had firmly landed back in the princess camp. But they attempted a bold move previously with the video game-themed Wreck-It-Ralph, and that was awesome. So, once again taking a break from the fairy tales, Big Hero 6 is the first Disney animated feature based on a Marvel property, and it certainly caught my attention as another interesting direction for the company.

Hiro Hamada is a robotics prodigy, who uses his engineering skills to gamble illegally in robot fights. His older brother, Tadashi, wants to steer him in a better direction, and shows him the potential his genius could have in a school of technology. But after a tragic accident, Hiro is left without a brother, but with an unlikely companion in the form of Baymax, a personal medical assistant that Tadashi built, who is intent on healing Hiro's grief. But with a masked super villain stirring up trouble throughout the city, Hiro decides to use his robotics prowess to upgrade Baymax, and arm his brother's band of friends in order to tackle the emerging threat.

It's quite a nice plot to start with, the relationship between Hiro and Tadashi is very nicely portrayed in the first part of the movie, and transitions nicely to between Hiro and Baymax. After that, it does quickly devolve into a pretty standard superhero plot, and while it may be a little thin on the ground, there's certainly enough other elements to make up for it.

For starters, this movie looks amazing. The human character models are fantastically detailed, and Baymax, the huge, inflatable, loveable robot, realistically squishes through gaps and flies through a vast, beautiful metropolis. The characters are all supported by good voices, particular mention goes to Scott Adsit as Baymax, as well as T. J. Miller and Damon Wayans. Best of all though is the action. There's tons of it, and it comes along at a pretty quick pace. There's a little bit of well-needed character development at the beginning, but after that the super-heroics come thick and fast and rarely let up. Every action scene is perfectly put together, showcasing awesome robotics and acrobatics, and they really put this up there with the superhero movie greats. 

With so much action going on, however, there is a trade off in terms of plot and character development. What little down time there is doesn't allow for much information to be shared. By the time the movie was finished, I certainly didn't know much about the supporting cast of heroes that Hiro recruits to his cause, not even their names. While that did sour my opinion of the movie after the fact, I can't deny that while watching it I was having an absolute blast. Big Hero 6 is a bold move by Disney, and it's very well done. It's an all-action blockbuster that's great fun to watch, and there's certainly another winning mascot in the form of Baymax. This ain't your average Disney classic, but it's still damn good.

My rating: 4/5

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