Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

2021 PG 107 Minutes

Animation | Action | Adventure | Fantasy | Family

Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 ye...

Overall Rating

7 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • d_riptide


    7 / 10
    You ever reach that phase where you realize you’re finally gonna receive or make a good thing but you know it’s not gonna last forever? That’s pretty much the full anatomy behind “Raya And The Last Dragon”: as formulaic as it is, it finally marks itself as something good amongst Disney’s recent collection of crap; that within itself as a remedy for how quickly that streak is guaranteed to be broken. ⁣

    But yes, this was a nice change of scenery and a good, if not average movie to watch despite how predictable it became within its structure and execution. Outside of the revelation that this film was inspired by several diverse Southeast Asian cultures and actually went out of their way to open the spotlight up to and fully represent Southeast Asians, it’s not only a deftly crafted and gorgeous looking spectacle to behold but a mostly competent attempt at telling a story about fallibility and the uncertainty that often accompanies courage. It achieves a delicate balance between a vibrant color palette and remarkable level of detail that never pushes too far into fantasy elements, it has a good cast of characters and a deliciously fun voice cast to back them up, we finally have some memorable action sequences again with a breakneck pace that doesn’t OFTEN get in the way, the tone is streamlined to condense both action and mystery yet works better as a buddy comedy, background score by James Newton Howard is also a plus and once again, it’s themes and underlying message about unity and trust in a hazardous environment paints a dark shadow over how uncivilized we have become and still are in today’s world. ⁣

    And yet outside of its predictable and formulaic presentation, however, if you REALLY look underneath all of its layers, there isn’t a whole lot. Raya and Sisu are the only ones who go through any depth or change, the dialogue can feel too modern and it takes you out of scenes, the storyline basically rips off the structure of a video game and it’s shameless about lazy it looks amongst the gorgeous scenery and.....I’m just gonna be frank and say I think the ending could’ve been done better. Yes, it does lie hand in hand with the message it wishes to tell but they should’ve laid off on dialogue and let the characters and scenery speak for itself. ⁣

    It honestly feels like I’m on the verge of ranting about it but that’s far from the case; it’s a decently made film with characters, presentation, mythology, worldbuilding and inspiring messages that are crying to be fully realized a great film. But for what it is, it’s a fun ride.....just don’t expect this streak to last for long.