After watching Abominable at the weekend, we all trooped into a restaurant for an early dinner and to remind ourselves of the best bits of the film. It was surprising to realise just how many times variations on the phrase “because he/she is the bad guy” cropped up in the conversation. This, for me, sums up the core problem with the film.
The film centres on teenager girl, Yi whose father has died and who has become less close to both her mother and her grandmother because of it. Yi, a talented violinist, harbours the ambition to take the trip across China that she had always planned to take with her father. While playing her father’s violin on the roof of the apartment block in which she lives she encounters a yeti, who has escaped from the villainous Burnish Industries. Through a sequence of events, Yi finds herself, along with her former childhood friend, Jin and his ten year old cousin Peng, on a journey across China as they attempt to return the yeti to his home.
The yeti himself is a delight and, of the human characters, both Yi and Jin are very well drawn and develop, pretty much as you’d expect, over the course of the film. Peng provides plenty of comic relief, especially when playing against the yeti. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast, as well as a large part of the plot, feels like something of an afterthought.
This makes for a perfectly serviceable adventure film, but one that is often let down by some badly underdeveloped villains. It’s a fun film, but one that could have been so much better.