Film review: BIG HERO 6, from Built For Speed

Disney/ Marvel animated film Big Hero 6 is exciting, energetic holiday entertainment for youngsters who love robots, cute characters, superheroes and tech-driven thrills.

Based on the Marvel comic of the same name, Big Hero 6 features 14-year-old kid genius aptly named Hiro (Ryan Potter) who, despite a vast knowledge of science and technology, prefers to spend his time in robot fighting contests. When he attempts to make a serious contribution to science by creating a shape-shifting nano-robot, his efforts lead to personal tragedy and the emergence of a destructive and vengeful masked super villain. It’s only with aid of his brother Tadashi’s (Daniel Henney) creation, the portly, unfailingly polite inflatable robot nurse / butler Baymax (Scott Adsit) and a group of intrepid young scientists with miraculous abilities that HHiro has any hope of combatting the masked fiend.

Big Hero 6 strikes a pleasing balance between action/ adventure and scientific wonder as a skinny science lover is elevated to superhero status.  While adults will welcome the film’s clever appreciation of emerging technologies, kids will be riveted by the elaborate, superbly animated vertigo-inducing action sequences.

For all it’s inventiveness this film does borrow a few ideas from other movies. The cultural and architectural mash-up of Tokyo and San Francisco in the city of San Fran Sokyo in which this film is set recalls the East Meets West aesthetic of Blade Runner, the relationship between Hiro and Baymax is reminiscent of the one between the boy and the robot in The Iron Giant, the robot technology here also recalls Iron Man, the concept of a group of young super heroes with specific powers borrows from X-Men, a journey to another dimension recalls a scene from Poltergeist 2 while one sequence is very reminiscent of a pivotal scene in Terminator 2.

The human characters in this film (who are voiced by the likes of Damon Wayans Jr and Genesis Rodriguez) are vaguely amusing but a little clichéd and stereotyped.  Far more enjoyable is the gentlemanly robot Baymax.  Looking like a cross between the Michelin Man and Tweaky from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Baymax is extremely lovable and funny so expect to see inflatable Baymax dolls populating backyards over summer.

Despite some familiar ideas and scenes, Big Hero 6 is enormous fun and a highly inventive piece of animated film making that will thrill the youngsters without annoying adults.

Nick’s rating: ***1/2.

Genre: Animated action/adventure.

Classification: PG.

Director(s): Don Hall, Chris Williams.

Release date: 26th Dec 2014

Running time: 102 mins.

Reviewer: Nick Gardener can be heard on “Built For Speed” every Friday night from 8-10pm right here on 88.3 Southern FM.  Nick can also be heard on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Film Show” podcast. 


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