Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Big Hero 6" Review - Written by Jim Herling

More than just a movie in its own right, Big Hero 6 is something that has been anticipated since the very moment years ago that it was announced the House of Mouse had bought the House of Ideas: a Pixar/Marvel collaboration (never mind the fact that Marvel had nothing to do with making the actual movie, thus explaining the lack of tie-ins; it's still a Marvel property). As such, Big Hero 6, directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams and written by Jordan Roberts, Daniel Gerson, and Robert L. Baird (based on characters created by Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle, the Man of Action team, and with Paul Briggs and Joe Mateo acting as "heads of story," whatever that means) has two great legacies to live up to. So how does it go?

Astoundingly well, is the answer. Big Hero 6 is the story of San Fransokyo boy genius Hiro Hamada (voiced capably and earnestly by Ryan Potter) who lost his parents years ago and, shortly into the movie, losses his brother in a tragic accident. This spurs Hiro onto a quest for vengeance, in which he is joined by his brother's friends, geniuses in their own right from a special school who use their intellect to make themselves into superheroes: there's monster aficionado Fred (the always funny T.J. Miller); Wasabi, armed with sonic blades and voiced by the equally sharp Damon Wayans Jr; the sweet, gooey Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez); and lastly Jamie Chung as Go Go, who of course is a speedster. If the quest for vengeance this talented cast of fun characters is on makes you think this might be a dark movie, well, Hiro's special ability turns that all right around. 282

Baymax, voiced beautifully by Scott Adsit, is Hiro's special ability, and is the heart and soul of what is a slightly predictable superhero movie but, more than that, is a very touching family movie. Baymax is the project Hiro's brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) was working on for his professor, Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell, as great as always). Designed to basically be a big, round, robotic EMT, Hiro finds a way to use armor and other upgrades to turn Baymax into a fighting robot warrior he can ride into battle. And it's that emotional journey, their friendship, that hold the movie together. It's as deep and touching as you'd expect from a Pixar movie, and as filled with action and the kinds of characters you'd expect to find in a Marvel movie, complete with an appearance by Stan "the Man" Lee, in what just might be his greatest cameo ever.

Big Hero 6 is a fun adventure for the whole family, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how beautifully animated it is, and how flawless and amazing the 3D. I give it 4 stars out of 5, and couldn't recommend it any more highly.

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