|Index||5 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well, that was a train wreck.
From about 1/3 of the way in, 009 Re:Cyborg steadily goes from passable to bad to worse to horrible, eventually coming to rest at "WTF?".
The last anime I can think of to spend such massive resources so ineffectively from a dramatic standpoint was "Metropolis" (2001). And that was a considerably better film.
Indeed 009 Re:Cyborg is as close to "cost no object" animation as there is these days. The military hardware is all rendered with fetishist detail, the backgrounds are sumptuously drawn, and all manner of computer- assisted effects enlisted.
The main problem with this film isn't even the overwrought and meaningless plot. I'll buy a lot of things, and though a 9/11-inspired story about pseudo-religious communion with "voices" that induce terrorist acts isn't really my bag, I'd be prepared to let that just drive the movie along and join the ride.
I should add I have no emotional investment in the original series, so they can preserve or desecrate the memory of the Cyborg: 009 TV show all they want. As an aside though I note uncanny resemblances of two characters in particular to Tony Stark and Eric Banner will probably seem odd to Western audiences.
No, the main problem with this film is that its empty of any genuine emotional content or character interaction. Stuff happens. Characters stand around staring vacantly, stating in the declarative what needs to be stated to convey information to the audience. To break the monotony there are frequent bouts of wordy philosophical ennui. Then there's a gunfight or some random and frequently ludicrous action sequence. Rinse and repeat.
And the ending has to rank up there as one of the weakest and laziest bit of scripting in the history of anime.
When I glanced through the names of the production team behind this
movie, I honestly expected a lot out of it. You have Kenji Kamiyama,
who is understandably the perfect guy for this movie, having directed
some well-known works like Eden of the East. This was especially so
given his experiences in bringing out hidden "human" values through
cyborgs in his GITS series. You also have Kenji Kawai, who produced
some of the best soundtrack ever heard in sci-fi series.
However this movie felt to me like these guys went back to school, or maybe they were not trying to surpass their previous works. Kenji Kawai's scores this time around had no new tune to them, almost sounded like recycled from his own previous works.
The cyborg characters were bland. The lack of dialogue between the characters was not the problem, but I expected something more systematic instead of jumping through events as if they had no significance to the bigger picture. They were trying to milk out a juice I call "character's thoughts" especially right at the end, which I felt was still poorly executed
There seemed to be a critical lack of interaction of events with each other, And this in my opinion was more serious an issue than the lack of interaction between characters because you need events to correlate with each other well to make difficult concepts in sci-fi materials approachable to the audience.
Overall, A fan or anyone familiar with their works would expect something thought-provoking out of the movie. But this time around, "thought-provoking" was an ingredient clearly missing - like an empty shell.
There were a few chapters of pre-anime release manga that can be easily searched online. The manga chapters had slight alterations to the movie, but then, it makes me wonder if this movie was actually made for the manga or something else, which makes sense because of its second-class quality.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So far for me, 3D films have been a failed experiment. Films have had
to incorporate needless moments to try and justify the increased
expense the format has brought with it; or they are simply nothing more
than demonstrations of three dimensions on screen, with a loose plot
fitted around it. My hopes, therefore, for Kenji Kamiyama's addition to
the 009 Re:Cyborg manga and TV series were somewhat muted.
'009 Re:Cyborg' is the first animated 3D film I have seen, and I have to admit, the best yet. On looks alone, the film is a nice piece of work, with the multilayers that the format offers working brilliantly, despite the need for subtitles on screen. Much like that other manga/anime franchise that Kamiyama has worked on, Ghost in the Shell, '009 Re:Cyborg' is suited to a 3D format, combining futuristic action scenes in an aesthetically pleasing environment.
But that's all about the format: what about the film itself? Plot-wise, the film centres around the reforming of a group of nine cyborgs from the 00 series to combat mysterious acts of terrorism carried out by those that claim to hear 'His voice'. Having followed different paths over the years, there is friction between certain members of the group, hindering their ability to save the day. The ending leaves little explanation as to events or really establishing what 'His voice' is, felling a little unsatisfying as a whole.
Much like Kamiyama's 'Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex', there is a lot of philosophy throughout the film, with lengthy explanations of various values and ways of thinking. And maybe that is where the film falters a little. With each 'GITS: SAC' Gig, there were 26 episodes to develop and execute as many deep philosophical musings as possible, but in just over one hundred minutes of cinema time, the ideas around 'His voice' are a little patchy and in need of more development and work.
This is very much a Kamiyama work, appearing and written in a similar vein to the 'GITS: SAC' anime series. Throw in religious undertones similar to those of 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' and you find Kamiyama's interpretation of Shotaro Ishinomori's 'Cyborg 009'. The film shows two things: firstly, the strength of 3D when used appropriately in anime to create an extra dimension to 2D design, justifying the four times extra effort that Kamiyama claims it added; and secondly the potential for Kamiyama to take 'Cyborg 009' to a television series format, allowing him to explore all those crazy ideas he so loves further. It also shows the great Japanese sense of humour, with British Cyborg 007 named simply 'Great Britain'. Larks.
Probably my favourite out of this year's Sci-Fi London's anime
all-nighter. A beautifully made film, with absolutely stunning action
scenes that will take your breath away.
Various buildings have been bombed in capital cities across the world, and the cyborgs have gathered with their creator to find out who the mysterious "His Voice" is behind it.
The story itself is a simple spy plot, with unexpected character twists. The Cyborgs are as human as anyone and demand your affection for their faults, falibilities and heroics.
Besides being a joy to look at, the characters are realistic, funny and very likable. You care about who is still standing at the very climatic, scenic finish, involving stupendous ariel shots of the cities and then the earth.
The ending had a rather odd message but was a through delight. I will be buying this ASAP.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Cyborg 009" is a Japanese classic manga and anime back in 60'. 9 cyborgs are from different ethnic groups (Russian, American, French, German, Native American, Chinese, British, African and Japanese) and used to fight with villains under cold war world. It was way ahead of time because it contained many global profound human themes. I was just happy to see them back on the big screen under contemporary setting with a masterful direction by Kenji Kamiyama, well-known by "Ghost In The Shell SAC Solid State Society". This is a great quality movie and must see for all Sci-fi anime fans. It starts with some unknown attacks on high rise buildings in major cities in the world like Shanghai, New York, Tokyo and Dubai. At first they believed it was US conspiracy, but it wasn't. I enjoyed the movie very much!
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