Monday, November 24, 2014

‘Big Hero 6’: Boy and machine, team supreme

(Nov. 14, PDI Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

A cool reimagining of Marvel Comics characters, Disney’s animated “Big Hero 6” is relentlessly fun, action-packed, and uses a wide spectrum—it’s easily one of the studio’s most colorful films, and aptly so—a welcome addition to the flashy superhero “sub-genre” introduced by Pixar’s “The Incredibles” a decade ago.

At its core is the bond between a boy genius, Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) and his robot Baymax (Scott Adsit), originally a medical droid created by his older brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney).

Hiro, a teen robotics expert, becomes one of the founders of a super-team, a gathering of unlikely and hesitant defenders hailing from the amalgamized city of San Fransokyo. Their connected “secret origin” leads them to a masked mystery villain wielding powerful technology.

“Big Hero 6” has an “Iron Giant”-meets-“How to Train Your Dragon” tone, but gives its unique take via adventurers Hiro and Baymax, who figure out each other’s differences and become justice-seeking protectors of the city.

The four other rookie heroes—Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), GoGo (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Fred (TJ Miller)—are similarly intelligent nerds and geeks who treat Hiro like a little brother.

Codirected by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), “Big Hero 6” attracts with glossy, shimmery visuals. The awkwardly named San Fransokyo is actually a sleek but homey melting pot. The “Amerasian” look helps provide a more creative backdrop; diverse and eclectic influences can be seen in the architecture, tech, and clothing.

Moreover, the drama and comedy make it easily enjoyable and accessible. The movie eschews two characters from the comics, mutant and “X-Men”-related characters Sunfire and Silver Samurai. And while those who knew “Big Hero 6” from the source material may miss those members, this re-interpretation is a sturdily built world, with fantastic imagery all its own.

Oh, there’s an extra scene—a rather silly but cute one—after the end credits, so you might want to stick around for that.

No comments: