Friday, November 14, 2014

Big Hero 6 (a movie review post)

Big Hero 6 is a movie that intrigues me on a lot of levels. It ought to have everything going for it.

It's based on a Marvel property (which I didn't even realize until I was seeing the movie (I can't say what gave it away (okay, I could, but that would be a spoiler))). That said, it's based on a Marvel property that I'm not actually familiar with so this is the rare adaptation (from a comic book) that I can see without having a picture in my mind of how it ought to be. Of course, I looked up the comic when I got home, and the path of adaptation they chose for this one is really interesting.

The comic is loosely set in the X-Men side of Marvel so has the full spectrum of mutants and all of that. The movie has removed everything that isn't technology based or transformed those things into something that is technology based. Basically, they made Big Hero fit into a slightly futuristic world in which people are still just people. And they did a really good job of it, too.

The movie does a great job with the exposition of the story. It's so typical of movies these days to just skip the exposition entirely, so I really appreciate it when a film takes the time to provide a foundation for the story they want to tell. Without having a way to check the timing on the movie, I'm going to guess the first half hour or so is all exposition. Let me re-say what I just said before: I like that!

Visually, the movie is incredible. Not just that it has great animation, but it has a great style. Actually, it looks a lot like The Incredibles, but that's not surprising considering that John Lasseter produced the movie.

Plus, it has the best drunken robot scene ever. Okay, that may not be surprising since it's probably the only drunken robot scene ever, but, still, it's hilarious.

The voice acting is adequate. There's nothing there to make any of it stand out except, maybe, for Scott Adsit, but it's hard to tell how much of that is him and how much is manipulation of his voice to make it work for Baymax.

The villain has a really cool look. That's all I'm saying about that. I mean, I'd be freaked out to have someone like that coming after me.

And the side characters work, too.

It has all the ingredients it needs for me to love it.

But I didn't.

Don't get me wrong; I really liked it; I just didn't love it. And I can't really tell you why other than that I saw the movie playing out the way it was going to go well before it got there. However, that was an interesting experience in-and-of itself, because my kids made the logic jumps the movie wanted them to make so that they would be surprised by what was actually going on when it was revealed at the end. I had to bite my tongue not to spoil it for them. For instance, at one point, my son said something about who the bad guy was, and I almost said, "No, that's not who it is," but I managed to catch myself.

I'm not really sure if that was the problem or not. It might also have been that the main emotional punch of the movie happens toward the beginning, so I had no catharsis at the end.

Really, it's not that important. It's a really good movie. It's great, even. It's just not excellent. It's not a movie I left the theater wanting to see again, which, for me, is the hallmark of an excellent film.

The short film at the beginning, though, that was awesome, and I'd love to see that again.


  1. 'We jumped out of a window!'
    Yeah, best drunken robot scene.
    I think we agree a hundred percent on this one. I didn't love it either. I wrote my review right after seeing it, but the next day, I really couldn't remember much about it. Really liked it, laughed a lot, but it didn't stick with me. I think it will win Best Animated Film just because there is no competition this year - none of the animated films have knocked it out of the park.

  2. I'd like to see this. But I'll probably wait until it's on DVD.

  3. Alex: What other animated films have there been this year? Oh, the dragon one, which we didn't even go see and everyone quit talking about as soon as it came out.

    Briane: There's nothing to make it a "theater movie" except for one scene, which is only if you're seeing it in 3d (which we didn't).

  4. Pat: I doubt it will be a long wait.

  5. I haven't heard of this one either, although I'm not incredibly well versed in mainstream comics. It looks decent enough, but I'll probably be skipping it.

  6. Jeanne: I used to be completely versed; now, evidently, I'm just the chorus.

  7. I had the same experience with Frozen. After all the hype, it was just too dumb for me. I'm still looking forward to seeing Big Hero 6 though. Too bad they can't all be Ice Age quality...

  8. Lexa: I was really good with Frozen. It was good to see Disney finally move away from the instantaneous true love thing.

  9. I really liked the short, too.

    The movie worked for me. There were certainly predictable elements in the story (I'd also figured out the real bad guy ahead of time) but there were a few welcome surprises, too.

    I loved the end credits!

  10. TAS: You'll have to tell me the surprises; I don't remember having that reaction at all.

    You mean the "cameo"?
    Because that was pretty awesome.