"If you must blink, do it now"
I wasn't initially too keen to watch this film but the stellar reviews made me think twice. So I ended up checking it out and boy, was it good. The film was brilliant in a lot of ways - it has cool action, a decent story...and more importantly, it did the basics right by setting up the characters well. And the character interactions was another standout positive of this film. There are some minor flaws...but it doesn't take away how great this film is.
The best thing about this film are easily the characters. The characters of Kubo and his company are introduced brilliantly and are likeable heroes to root for. Kubo's backstory was setup so brilliantly, that even less than 10 minutes in, I can totally feel for Kubo and understand his feelings. When you get a film that does the basics right like this, it is almost guaranteed that audiences will root & care for our protagonist in whatever conflict that follows.
More than that, this film soon upped their game with some very excellent character interactions (and dialogues) between Kubo and the Monkey and the Beetle. There is a very interesting dynamic between the three and it makes the non-action sequences already super fun to watch - and yes, this is also where a lot of the humour comes through.
There are some very cool action sequences & effects, too - despite this being a stop-motion animation. And the plot as a whole is pretty decent. And the film definitely has the feels when it comes to the dramatic & touching moments - owing to the brilliant character setup. And even the music is pretty solid, too.
Unfortunately, this film still has some minor flaws for me. Mainly these would be in some of the minor details of the plot - sometimes they don't make total sense, but also, a scene (or a revelation, rather) - which I shall not spoil - feels a bit too convenient. It works for the story, but it feels way too convenient.
Apart from that, there is this one other thing which might not be an avoidable flaw, but in the beginning, the stop-motion is a bit too glaring (and hence, distracting), but once the adventure kicks in, I no longer feel it. In fact, I feel genuinely surprised with a lot of the super cool action sequences (especially those which includes the Sisters), knowing that these are stop-motion animation.
In the end, this film is a brilliant film in a lot of ways - and especially so when it comes to characters & interactions, which is why the film is always going to keep audiences invested and liking them. There are only some minor flaws, and the film doesn't really have any memorable strong point, but it is indeed a very solid adventure film and a really good watch.
An easy Recommended....