Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Moonlight Movie Reviews - Big Hero 6

As promised and not as late as I usually am with these, here's my review of...

Does that city look a little weird? That's because it's San Fransokyo, a futuristic blending of San Francisco and Tokyo. Pretty cool, actually. I wouldn't mind living there! Well, except for all the hills. When you're from flat land, hilly places are a nightmare to walk around, ha. Anyway, this is the setting of Big Hero 6, the latest animated feature in Walt Disney's long line of mostly masterpieces. Happy to say, this one is no disappointment either! Which... might make this a short review. There's nothing to complain about!

Well, nothing for me to complain about at least. If you're a hardcore fan of the original Marvel comics Big Hero 6 is based on, you may or may not be able to deal with all the changes made to bring this to the bigscreen as a Disney animated feature. Then again, I haven't heard anyone say anything negative about this movie, even hardcore comic fans, so maybe all the changes were improvements, I don't know, ha. But, from what I've gathered, the original story is about a superhero team being recruited by the government to defend Japan against danger, while the film takes a different route along with its newly invented setting that, unlike the comic, is not made to be part of the bigger Marvel universe. Or, in this case, Big Hero 6 is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney has created.

In this version of Big Hero 6, the story focuses on 14-year-old genius Hiro Hamada, who hasn't been taking life seriously since graduating high school early, and instead of starting college, has been winning money on the streets hustling in robot fighting competitions. Hiro's older brother, Tadashi, is a robotics student who wants Hiro to join him at the distinguished university he attends, but Hiro is not interested. That is, until Tadashi takes him down to the robotics lab to meet his friends, Go Go, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred, and to see all their fantastic inventions, including Baymax, Tadashi's experimental healthcare robot. The outing successfully convinces Hiro to apply to the school by way of an annual science exhibition, bringing his own inventions, microbots. Hiro's microbots are an amazing creation that can build, destroy, or do pretty much anything for you through telepathic control via a special headset. The project greatly impresses everyone, most significantly Professor Callaghan, head of the robotics program. 

However, during the exhibition, tragedy strikes when a fire erupts in the building. Professor Callaghan gets trapped inside, and Tadashi loses his life in an attempt to save him.This sinks Hiro into a depression that keeps him from ever signing up for school and greatly worries his family and new friends.That's when something fortuitous happens. Hiro unwittingly activates Baymax, Tadashi's healthcare robot, who must complete his job of making Hiro feel better before he can power down again. In Hiro's condition, however, the only thing that will make him feel better is finding the person responsible for Tadashi's death, a masked villain who Hiro and Baymax discover has stolen and mass produced Hiro's microbots for a sinister, unknown purpose. Hiro soon sets out on a mission, full of lessons and personal discovery, to transform Baymax and their robotics expert friends into a team of high-tech superheroes with one goal: take down the man in the mask. 

Now, I'm not going to draw this out, because, as I said, there is nothing to complain about with this film unless you are a comic fan who wanted an exact interpretation of the original books. All these characters are from the comics, but changes have been made. I won't go on about that either, because I only know what I briefly read about the comic on Wiki, ha. As I've said many times before, I LOVE superheroes, grew up with them on TV and the bigscreen, but my comic book obsession was always mostly for Disney and Star Wars comics. Oh well.

As for the movie itself though, let me put it this way. Think of the best PIXAR films. This film could fit right in there among them. Naturally, more in the "Incredibles" vein than, say, Toy Story, but just as well done, both visually and story/character-wise. This film is full of emotion and heart. The characters are excellent with great arcs for some, and the comedic moments are pure gold! The action and emotion fueled visuals are glorious. And, don't make the mistake of leaving the theater during the end credits. Stay for the bit after. It's one of the best after-credits scenes I've ever seen, at least in quite a while. I mean, it's not like 2 seconds long or pointless, as some can seem (maybe I'm just thinking of that bit at the end of Thor 2 though, ha).

I mentioned the great characters, which of course are a driving force of the film. The voice cast is fantastic, and yet it's not a movie that has tried to sell itself on big names, though you've probably seen some of them before. These characters are so likable. You're sure to come out with a fave (you know mine already), and everyone loves Baymax, the big, soft, lovable robot. 

There's not a lot more that needs to be said about Big Hero 6, except that you owe it to yourself not to miss this one. It is that good. See it on the big screen. I don't know how the 3D is, as I only saw it in 2D, but I wish I'd checked that out. I was lucky enough just to get a ticket at all on opening night though, and the prices for 3D tickets these days though are awful. Anyway, 3D usually disappoints, but this is the kind of movie that might be great in 3D, so maybe I'll give it another viewing that way later. But, go see it, one way or another! You'll be so glad you did! You'll probably run out and get a Big Hero 6 toy for yourself afterwards, like I did! Ha. See ya next time!

EDIT: I nearly forgot! I of course saw this at Austin's Lakeline Alamo Drafthouse. As usual, the pizza was excellent and there was a fun pre-show of clips and shorts. Here's your taste of that. The pre-show, not the pizza. Sorry. God, their carnivore pizza with fresh parmesan on the side is amazing!

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