Abominable (2019)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB

/USA, 2019, .  Screenplay by Jill Culton.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by .  

At a scientific lab owned by a billionaire industrialist (voiced by ) who loves to collect rare creatures, a mythical Yeti has been held captive but, at the beginning of this charming family film, he escapes his captors and enters the city alone. The creature is discovered on the rooftop of an apartment building by a young woman named Yi (voiced by ) who has gone up there to let off steam; she is still healing from a tragedy in her family, and longs to leave home and journey across China, which she has been preparing for by taking a series of odd jobs that she hasn’t told her mother and grandmother about.

When Yi discovers the beast that she comes to name Everest, she decides that it is her duty to help him return home, but the journey she undertakes (which, incidentally, helps fast-track her vacation plans) gets complicated when she accidentally takes along her young, rambunctious neighbor Peng (), and his handsome older cousin Jin (, whose grandfather Tenzing Norgay was actually the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary).

These three experience the beauty of the Chinese countryside while being pursued by the tycoon and his research assistant (Sarah Paulson) who will stop at nothing to get the Yeti back, but their progress is aided by the creature revealing that he possesses magical powers (rendered beautifully through a musical hum) that provide a few surprises along the way.

As storytelling goes, this film has nothing new to offer and its characterizations barely rate above the standard comedic stereotypes that suit this kind of quest, plus it is never particularly funny and a bit too long, but there’s something sincere about it that makes it easy to warm up to.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2019

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