Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Review: Brave (3D)

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Brave (3D) poster

Brave (3D)
93 mins / Dir. Brenda Chapman

First four words here



First things first, Brave looks fantastic, and much of the scenery is borderline photo-real until the stylised characters come galloping into view. The 3D is nicely done (as usual with animated features) up to the scenes which take place in near-darkness, then it's a matter of guessing what's happening on-screen, what with the glasses helpfully protecting your eyes from the cinematic glare to begin with.

My biggest bugbear with the film is that it's a Classic Fable™ plot structure, told in an Exciting Adventure™ format, and the two don't quite meet in the middle. This kind of storytelling would work so much more convincingly if it'd been animated 20-30 years ago in hand-drawn 2D. I've nothing against 3D CGI, but it's really the wrong tool for the job here. There are frequent visual gags and slapstick which work, but again feel slightly out of place in what should be a grander telling, somehow. The voice-acting's largely on-par, but with characters as generic as these, the performers are limited to what they can actually inject into the proceedings. The only stand-out performance is Billy Connolly's, but a voice and delivery like his only serve to remind you that 'hey, that's Billy Connolly'.

But it's alright in a sort of largely generic way. Disney's writers have submitted a second-draft detailed outline, and Pixar's animators have made it look great. It's certainly better than I feared it might be, but nowhere as good as I'd hoped. The overriding theme is supposed to be about child-parent bonding and mutual communication, but what I picked up from it was 'Don't try and alter the future your parents have mapped out for you, you'll only fuck things up and it'll be all your fault.' Way to go, Disney.

Brave has all the edge of a marshmallow, and at times is just as sickly. It's heart's in the right place, but it lacks sincerity.


4/7

Enjoyable enough, all in all, but it left me with nothing.

DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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