Opening with the kind of action scene that CGI and 3D were made for, Disney’s Bolt goes straight for the jugular and doesn’t let go, at least for 20 minutes or so.
As Penny (Miley Cyrus) and super canine Bolt try to outrun their enemies once more, taking out various baddies in an explosive sequence that is almost worth the price of admission, the film soon reveals that the dog isn’t quite what he seems.
As actors on a top-rated TV show, the pair may be inseparable on screen, but off they’re kept apart by parents and managers, a decision that will lead to Bolt taking to the highways and byways of America in search for his “owner”.
John Travolta does well as the voice of Bolt, the animators catching some of the actor’s mannerisms as the character starts to learn about the real world.
The story itself barely pauses for breath, though sadly it never quite recaptures the epic nature of those opening moments. Bolt’s journey across the country in the company of cat Mittens (Susie Essman) and hamster Rhino (Mark Walton) is never dull, though sentimentality does creep in once or twice, stalling the narrative in its wake.
Walton impresses as Bolt, stealing the film from under Bolt’s nose, while the 3D effects are fine though by no means vital to the films success. Luckily the film works on a few levels, meaning adults will be laughing with the kids.
Now I’m just waiting for Bolt: The Series to get greenlit – I’d sit and watch more scenes like the opening one anytime.
Bolt opens on Friday