Luca is the latest film from Pixar and it was on Disney plus this weekend so when a sea monster named Luca meets a boy named Alberto who also happens to be a sea monster, they’re able to disguise themselves as humans and they venture to a small town on the Italian Riviera to enter a Vespa race.
We’re not going to get into spoilers of course but if you just so happen to not know anything about this movie like we did. We will talk about certain plot developments early on that we didn’t know were in the film and so if you really just want to go in completely blind or if you’ve seen the trailer already you’re probably going to be fine.
Plot Review: Luca Movie
As usual with every Pixar movie, this thing looks amazing and it sounds amazing. The voice work is top-notch, everyone’s really good in the movie. It has really valuable lessons for young kids especially when it comes to not hiding who you really and are not being ashamed of who you really are despite what people may think.
It’s realistic that it takes the approach where there are some really great messages in Luca but unfortunately it’s easily one of the lesser Pixar films for us. This is more in line with a film like the good dinosaur.
All issues with the film are entirely story, it has nothing to do with the technical stuff on display or the actors. It’s the story first of Luca under the sea, the film begins with him sort of leading around some mindless fish as a sea monster. He has a personality so does his family, they all have lives and they can talk but they’re afraid of humans. They’re afraid of being killed or being found but when Luca walks out of the ocean into the fresh air and meets Alberto, he changes into a human being.
The film makes no attempt to explain this transformation, why it happens, why water turns them back into a sea monster and why on land they don’t look like a sea monster. There certainly could be attributed a deeper meaning to this transformation than perhaps the film wants to go into. For the most part you won’t really know what Luca does underwater and once he meets Alberto who’s also a sea monster.
Alberto has a sort of warped view of what the world is really like. He thinks the stars are called fish, he blurts out Italian and has no idea what he’s saying. He’s just repeating things that he’s heard. He has a poster of a Vespa scooter and so he believes that a Vespa scooter is like all you have to get in life. It’s what everyone should be dreaming about and so that it becomes their entire goal for the first half of the movie.
It’s a literal fish out of water story and so you’re watching characters that are very clueless and they don’t know anything which made it difficult for us to get invested in the story. It felt very aimless which was the point it’s supposed to be this wondrous summer where you’re coming of age, you’ll be discovering things about yourself but it doesn’t really feel like anything of merit is going on.
The other issue with the movie was the stakes, they’re very low obviously being discovered that he’s really a sea monster is a problem if it rains that’s going to be an issue. If somebody splashes water on him that’s going to be an issue. It’s clearly inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s films the town is called Porto Russo for instance but again going back to the stakes.
People might find out that he’s a sea monster and get upset or try to kill him but his parents are also searching for him in this town because they’re upset that he went out of water on land and they’re trying to hide their sea monsters as well. They’re also taking every kid they find in public and dumping them in water to see if it’s their kid or not which is funny but at the same time are they trying publicly out.
Their kid as being a sea monster in front of everybody because that might be an issue since they’re trying to stay hidden so maybe we are thinking too deeply into this but this is the kind of stuff that we would have been asking the writers when they were developing this story.
The film picks up once they meet a young girl in town who helps them train and learn how to ride a Vespa and enter into this race but there’s also an incredibly cheesy and over-the-top villain who’s the best Vespa scooter racer in the entire town and he just walks around being an ass to everybody and it’s easily one of Pixar’s lamest villains in a long time.
Final Review Words
One would enjoy Luca more if you knew anything about Luca’s world before he was thrust into a new one we learned so little about what he does all day and we know nothing about his transformation abilities. It’s just sort of established that a sea monster is a sea monster in the ocean and looks like a human on land and we knew more about the world and the aimless nature of the film really didn’t help anything either.
We may be in the minority and saying this a lot of people might really enjoy Luca but this one wasn’t for us. It just wasn’t at Pixar’s greatest heights and we’re not seeing this leaving a lasting impact like most of Pixar’s movies. We’re going to give Luca Average consideration.