Brave review

Mark Andrews
Kelly Macdonald
Billy Connolly
Emma Thompson
Julie Walters
Rated: PG

Okay cool Pixar, now can we please get an “Incredibles 2?”

“Brave” is the latest film from the studio that has brought animated classics year after year. Their latest film follows the character Merida (Macdonald), a young princess living in a kingdom in Scotland. Merida is a free spirit and mainly enjoys practicing her archery skills in the vast outdoors surrounding the castle where she lives. Her mother Elinor (Thompson) however wants Merida to be more proper and formal, much to her dismay.

To make matters worse for Merida, she soon learns that she is going to have to marry a suitor to keep peace between the different kingdoms. This becomes the last straw for Merida as she becomes completely fed up with the direction her life is going and decides to try and find a way to change her fate.

The story of “Brave” is disappointing. While starting off fairly strong, the film soon sags into a “be careful what you wish for” type of plot which never really pushed the bar of storytelling in an animated film like so many Pixar movies have done before. While not being particularly bad and having some really nice and cute moments, the film feels a bit like wasted potential.

Considering the world they were in, one with a lot of potential for a magical fantasy epic, the film basically falls into mediocre territory. Another issue was that the writing in Pixar films, especially when it comes to humor is usually very clever and witty however in this the only real comedy that comes out is slapstick.

The voice acting was well done. All the delivery was fine and none of the characters seemed to be phoned in or have a voice where you could instantly tell that it was some celebrity. I enjoyed the characters also, to a point, however I felt like most of them were just wasted potential. We never really get to know anybody besides Merida and her mother, and Merida’s archery skills for the most part don’t even play that much into her character, which was also disappointing.

Visually, as expected from Pixar, the film is absolutely gorgeous. The scenery and landscapes are fully animated and detailed to perfection. The characters were also well done and the action scenes were all very fluid and exciting to watch.

“Brave” is by no means bad. For the most part it’s a nice little family movie with some nice moments however it just doesn’t live up to its potential of what it could have been, or live up to the bar that Pixar has set for itself. There just isn’t enough to be truly memorable here. From the comedy to the characters to the story, everything just feels a bit lacking bringing the film to a 3 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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