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Film Review: Big Hero 6

on November 07, 2014, 1:00pm
C
Director
Don Hall, Chris Williams
Cast
Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung
Release Year
2014
Rating
PG

Scott Adsit’s had a very curious career trajectory, so let’s give him a little love for a minute. Disney seems about ready to. Once upon a time, the cue-balled crazy man was vetted as one of the hottest young prospects at Chicago’s Second City. In a late ‘90s “Best Of” CD compilation, super veteran Robert Klein proclaimed Adsit and Adam McKay (director of Anchorman) the future of comedy with their “Gump” skit. It was a satire on corporate mentalities with Adsit nailing it as a “legally retarded” exec, mocking just how easy it is to fail upward. It’s gold, and Adsit went on to, well, have small spots in various sitcoms across the last 15 years.

Yet, with Big Hero 6, the guy’s found a delightful little role in the form of a kindhearted, monotone first aid robot named Baymax. It utilizes absolutely none of Adsit’s fevered rep, but it’s a really charming role, and he fits it well. Best case scenario: this gives him a leg up and a little extra attention when he gets to do weirdo passion plays. Baymax is a cheery invention. Like Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, but kind, and made of vinyl. Physically and socially awkward, the robot is very much the unique heart of Disney’s comic book movie.

Pity the rest of this comic book movie is stock as hell. Blade Runner-esque postmodern visuals mixed with obvious comic tropes are Big Hero 6’s calling cards. Even Disney kids films can’t escape debris-sprayed action finales (Big Hero has two). As a family film, this thing’s fairly harmless, even neat to look at. Disney presents: family, friendship, heroism, and healing. As art, this is yet another Marvel/Disney money machine. There’s not an original bone in this film’s body.

Baymax belongs to Hiro (Ryan Potter) and Tadashi (Tadashi), a pair of robotics and engi-nerd orphans straight out of Revenge of the Nerds or Real Genius. Hiro, the younger brother, is a child genius who graduated out of school at 13 and likes to go robot fighting with his crafty creations. Tadashi’s at a futuristic So-Cal MIT where he works with fellow intrepid and self-proclaimed “nerds.” The nerd culture pandering continues. Tadashi created Baymax as a school project – find a way to help lots of people. Tadashi brags about Baymax’s 10,000 medical capabilities (which are mostly used for pointing out bumps, bruises, and cheap gags about puberty), but it’s a truly benevolent concept.

When Tadashi leaves for reasons we’ll avoid disclosing, Hiro befriends the squishy bot, and Baymax takes on a savior-like quality as Hiro re-calibrates the bot to become a red- and purple-hued hero, complete with jet packs and rocket fists. They go on adventures, seeking vengeance for wrongs done to them. It forcefully turns the boy-meet-bot love story into yet another comic movie with heavily effectsy resolutions. It’s lazy and a disservice to the sweetness that Baymax initially provides. But the kids’ll love it, what with its brightly colored costumes and frenetic pacing.

Big Hero 6 is just another loud action flick for the kids. This may ultimately be viewed as the poor man’s Incredibles. However, the character of Baymax and his actor, Scott Adsit, well, let’s just hope these guys go up, up and away.

Trailer:

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