Elemental: Movie Review

Elemental Movie Review: An Honest to Goodness Decent Elemental Mashup

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"Elemental" managed to rekindle our faith in Pixar, even though our recent expectations for their releases had been somewhat lukewarm. While not Pixar's best work, the film still encapsulates the trademark magic and formula that once made their movies a big deal.

Set in Element City, where Water, Earth, Wind, and Fire elements coexist, the story revolves around the prejudice faced by Fire elements. Immigrants Bernie (Ronnie del Carmen) and Cinder Lumen (Shila Ommi) carve out a life in Element City for themselves and their daughter Ember (Leah Lewis), thanks to their family-owned convenience store. However, when Ember accidentally causes a water leak, it leads to an unexpected encounter with City Inspector Wade Ripple (Mamoudou Athie). As Ember tries to persuade Wade to drop the charges, an unlikely friendship forms, bringing the elements closer than they ever imagined.

At under two hours, "Elemental" strikes a balance, offering a complete experience without overstaying its welcome. Yet, it's worth noting that the film might have benefited from a bit more time to fully develop its story and characters. It feels somewhat rushed, leaving us yearning for a deeper exploration of the characters beyond Ember and her father. The vibrancy of Element City and several potential narrative elements, such as xenophobia and immigration, are introduced but not fully explored, overshadowed by the budding romance between the leads. It seems that "Elemental" attempted to cater to adult audiences with mature themes but doesn't dive deep enough having its younger audiences in mind, resulting in a somewhat shallow and lukewarm narrative. Despite its narrative shortcomings, "Elemental" shines visually. Element City's stunning depiction blurs the lines between animation and reality at times. Noteworthy was the contrasting character styles of the Fire and Water elements which we found beautiful to look at on their own. The humor and script pleasantly surprised us also, leading to more laughter than expected. In conclusion, "Elemental" may have its flaws in delivery, but it undeniably possesses heart. While not Pixar's pinnacle, it remains a film worth watching, offering a blend of humor, charm, and stunning visuals that keep the Pixar legacy alive.

Rating: 3 and a half reels

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