Sunday 31 July 2016

Review: Finding Dory

Finding Dory (3D)
Cert: U / 103 mins / Dir. Angus MacLane & Andrew Stanton / Trailer

Okay, it's Sunday night and like a kid putting off their homework, I've been sitting on this one since Friday afternoon. I have, however, been giving it some thought and the fact is, I just don't have that much to say*1 about Finding Dory.

That's not to say this isn't a very competently written, produced and performed piece, nor that I didn't enjoy the film thoroughly. I smiled and laughed my way through it, as did the sizeable audience. But at the end of it all, I got up and left the cinema accompanied only by the satisfied feeling that it hadn't been time wasted at all (which, in itself, is actually an understated compliment).

Sauntering into town a mere thirteen years after its progenitor, Finding Dory uses many of the characters from the first film and many of the same gags as a result. The fact that they're always well-intentioned and sincere works in its favour, as does the film's relentless sweetness. The central plot strand itself also isn't a million miles away from what's come before, so if you're a cynical parent who's been force-fed Finding Nemo to the point where the Stockholm Syndrome's worn back off again, you may want to bundle your youngsters off with their friends (and associated cinema-going guardians) for this one.

At just under an hour and three quarters, it's slighly too long for the story it's telling, made more prominent by a third-act which keeps extending itself into More And Bigger Crescendos Before The Credits Can Roll. A couple of the younger patrons got a bit fidgety by this point in the movie; something to bear in mind if you're paying for them all to sit in the flicks. And to make matters worse, I'm also going to tell you to stay until the end of the credits for a great reference to Finding Nemo. The scene's over a minute long, so it's worth hanging around for if you're a fan of the first film. As for the saccharine-level? Well, it's a U-rated Pixar movie, so you should know what to expect by now ;)

But in all seriousness, there's very little to dislike here. Finding Dory is consistently funny and thoughtful, and manages to raise disability issues in a way that's relaxed and ideal for youngsters and parents alike.

It's just a film that I was able to appreciate completely, then file as watched

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
Finding Nemo?

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
Only if you're passing that way and you want something emotionally pleasing and in 3D.
Other than that, this will be just fine to watch at home

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
The film's been a long time coming and it hasn't really brought any new ideas with it.
So in that respect, actually yes

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
Ellen DeGeneres is reliably fantastic once again, everyone else just about keeps up.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Not that I heard.

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 1: Bill 'BB-8 Voice Consultant' Hader does vocal-work here, as does John 'Derlin' Ratzenberger.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…
^^ And it's actually better than 'quite' good, but it's not as good as the 'pretty awesome' it'd get if I awarded it a 6.
But I don't do half-marks, and I don't like marking out of ten, so there we go.

*1 No, really. Not like other times when I'll say I don't have much to say and then go on to write 1,500 words about someone repeatedly using the wrong accent, etc, all the while skirting around the central issue of me picking up on entirely the wrong thing(s) whilst watching the film.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• 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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