Sunday, 31 July 2016

#50 FINDING DORY


Starring the vocal talents of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'neil, Hayden Rolence, Kaitlen Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy and Edris Elba. Written by Andrew Stanton and Victoria Strouse. Directed by Andrew Stanton. Running time 97 minutes. Budget $200 million.

Set one year after the traumatic events of Finding Nemo this sequel finds Ellen DeGeneres' short-term-memory-loss-suffering Dory taking centre stage and as she tries to cope with traumatic nam-flashbacks to her childhood by setting out on her own quest to travel the ocean in search of her lost parents. Dragging along Nemo and his father Marlin for the ride and meeting up with a whole new cast of fishy friends, including an octopus by the name of Hank, voiced by Ed O'neil, a chronically short-sighted whale-shark by the name of Destiny, a concussion suffering beluga whale and a couple of hilarious sealions voiced by Edris Elba and Dominic West.

This is a fun film from Pixar, but not a classic. For a while the film feels in danger of drowning in its own self importance as it deals with Dory's disability and its ramifications.  Luckily late in the proceedings Pixar seem to remember they're making an animated movie and ratchets up the mad-cap comedy leading to a truly bat-shit crazy, fish-out-of-water sequence in the third act involving a police car chase, a heist and a prison break, of sorts. Also for a large portion of this film the action takes place in murky, dingy pipes or gloomy sunken wrecks rather than the glorious colours of the pacific ocean which seems like a mistake. That said, Hank is an astonishing achievement in CGI animation and for him alone this movie is worth seeing, I can't help thinking we're going to be seeing more of him.

And while this film is nowhere near as good as the original Finding Nemo, at least it's not as despicable as either of the two Cars movies, or the terrible Monsters University. Oddly enough though the audience of kids I saw this with weren't shrieking with laughter that much and my two munkins only marked it a 7/10 - 8/10 depending on their ages.

I quite liked it, but only the second half, once the action and silliness kicked in, and for a while I was in danger of falling into the deep end of my rage, but managed somehow to ride it out. The credits are worth sitting through as is the post credit sequence that brings back even more old friends.

Doubt I'll watch it again, or ever own it on DVD, but as half term entertainment goes, this was a thoroughly entertaining and funny adventure.

8/10

P.S.
The traditional pre-film short won't disappoint, short and silent, it's a technological truimph and sweet too.

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