Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Movie Review: FINDING DORY

Finding Dory meets our favorite fish characters one year after having found Nemo (Hayden Rolence). Life seems pretty great and ordinary for Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), Nemo and Marlin (Albert Brooks), yet suddenly Dory is amazingly triggered back to her past and starts remembering little bits of her youth, most notably she remembers her parents, and sets out on a journey in search of them with an enthusiastic Nemo and a slightly reluctant Marlin.

Not to be in anyway hyped for a Pixar film would prove stupid, especially considering their enormous achievement with last year's Inside Out, which proved to be, for me, the best movie of the year, not to mention the amazing sequel work they have done with the Toy Story series. With Finding Dory we are unfortunately far away from the brilliance and top notch filmmaking Pixar has produced, yet that in no way detracts from the enjoyable and occasionally touching ride we are offered.

After reviewing so many Pixar films, I find myself once again having to mention, at the forefront, the animation. It might be obvious, it might be almost routine by now, but that in no way should take away from the brilliant work these animators put forward every single time. The frame is rich and beautiful, yet never looses the viewer, it is always there to tell a story and the complexity of what is conveyed through it is both overwhelming and magical. The coherent tone they always manage to craft is something that is not to undersell since we have seen many animated films fail at it in the past. There is hardly a moment to get your eyes off screen and that is both because of how engaging the frame is on a basic composition level, but also because of how smartly every character is brought to life, resulting in both humor and intelligence.

Furthermore, and might I say, once again, we are carried in a world that is incredibly fun, filled with jokes at every corner, pop culture references peppered throughout, running gags that develop character and excellent slapstick humor. But the best part is that all of this is, as always, done uninvasively. Hardly ever does the story stop to make way for a gag. The story is the focal point of everything, the characters and their struggle are always at the forefront, all of the above is just an addition that enhances the film and gives it this incredibly adventurous and funny tone which always leaves a big smile on my face when leaving the theater.

Still what ultimately makes everything work is the affection for the characters both old and new, the way they are treated and how they act. No matter how off the rails the film is going at times, and it really does. The banter between these fish is so sharp and electrifying you don't see just fish, and you don't want it to end. Moreover, Dory is funny and genuinely works as a main character, if only a little one beat, yet her comedic value is inexhaustible.

As I said the movie does go off the rails, the action portrayed on screen is simply too far fetched too many times to keep the audience suspending disbelief. The difference with Finding Nemo is exactly in how the predecessor managed to weave character, emotion and plot so seamlessly into a deeply touching tale. Finding Dory has good intentions, but the scene weave is just to extravagant and unmotivated to have any kind of deeply thematic effect on the viewer.

No doubt everyone in the family is going to have something to enjoy in the film, everybody will have loads of fun and a really pleasant time, even if it won't leave any mark like its predecessor managed to leave on everybody.

James's Score: 7/10

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