I went into Big Hero 6 not even knowing it was based on a comic series, so it had some surprises and not so pleasant ones. First, the strengths of the film; I quite enjoyed the central relationship of the movie, that of Hiro, a robotics prodigy, and Baymax, an affable, if naïve, robot. The designs in the film were routinely really great; Baymax is like no robot you’ve ever seen before, a soft and cuddly one, and the city of San Fransokyo, is as awesome as it sounds. By the time the film is over, you’ll wish you could live there, or at least visit. And I loved the villain, a menacing figure in a trenchcoat and a kabuki mask with an army of nanobots at his disposal. He was striking, iconic and genuinely scary in his early scenes, like a confrontation in a warehouse and a high-energy chase scene. Unfortunately, the story this relationship, these designs and this villain inhabit is pretty lame, frankly. I didn’t know this movie was the origin story for a team of superheroes and that whole team element of the story shifted the focus away from Baymax and Hiro and was very, very predictable. And the last third or so of the film is just dull and not compelling; the climax in particular feels like something I’ve seen dozens of times in better movies and the whole “self-sacrifice” beat at the end just rang really false and felt contrived. All in all, I was disappointed with much of the film, but there are some things to like. On the whole though, it isn’t one I really recommend. Whatever. 2 ½ stars.
tl;dr – good design and the occasional interesting character can’t save this predictable superhero movie from dullness. 2 ½ stars.