Monday, January 30, 2017

Film Review: Attack on Titan Part 1 (2015)

Attack on Titan: Part 1 (Review)
Japan/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Blu-ray
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a cheesy but exciting action-adventure movie with some surprisingly effective elements of horror. "

Eren Yeager (Haruma Miura) joins a scouting group in order to avenge his friends and family who were killed by the Titans, humanoid giants who prey on humans...

Attack on Titan: Part 1 is an adaptation of the popular anime/manga of the same name—an anime which I enjoyed immensely. It starts off a bit rough and disjointed, but the plot is similar. One-hundred years ago, Titans, humanoid giants, slaughtered most of humanity. The survivors built tall walls and secluded themselves from the rest of the world in order to survive. Fast forward 100 years and their wall is penetrated, which causes the outermost city to be decimated by the Titans. Three friends from said city—Eren, Mikasa (Kiko Mizuhara), and Armin (Kanata Sakuraba)—are affected by the attack. Like I said, if you're familiar with the anime, this is more of the same. The characters and their relationships have changed, but the core of the story is the same. The changes in character don't really help the film, though. It leads to an action-packed climax and a solid ending.


Attack on Titan: Part 1 is not a film for everyone. If you're not familiar with any of the source material, this film will probably look like a big mess to you. On the other hand, if you're a die-hard fan of the series, you'll probably be displeased by the changes. Personally, I really enjoyed the anime, but I'm very open-minded. The changes offer some unique scenes, they may even be considered a 'breath of fresh air,' but it just makes the story less effective. I don't want to spoil the film, but it makes this fight feel less vengeful and relatable. The raw emotion from the anime series isn't here. There's still some drama, but it doesn't quite match the consistency of its source material. I feel like if they didn't make these changes, if they made a more straight-forward adaptation, the film would have been much more exciting and dramatic.

Still, I actually enjoyed this movie. Yes, the introduction is a bit rough. Yes, the characters are not perfect. However, the film was still entertaining. It's a cheesy but exciting action-adventure movie with some surprisingly effective elements of horror. And, although it doesn't have the same effective characters, it still has some very effective drama, especially towards the second half. You know, that special feeling when a character dies or is facing death? That's here in full-force at times. The tokusatsu-inspired action sequences are even good. The visual effects may be hit-or-miss, but the style really grew on me. I'll admit it, I thought it looked cheesy in the trailers, but I really liked it. Seeing this world in live-action form was also great. It feels like a living, breathing world—the type that you want to see at an amusement park, like Universal Studios.

The acting was okay, too. The cast doesn't really get a chance to shine, though. Haruma Miura tends to over-act during some of his more emotional scenes. Kanata Sakuraba sort of blends with the background. Miko Mizuhara is good, though—and I'm not saying that because she's stunning. She's just the most natural in this film; although her character has changed, she also feels like Mikasa. The music isn't as epic as the anime soundtrack, but it is great; I'm listening to the soundtrack right now. The special effects can often blend perfectly, creating exceptional action sequences and creepy visuals. Then... there are those scenes where the special effects stick out like a sore thumb. I ended up enjoying
the style, but it is flawed. The film was written by Yusuke Watanabe and Tomohiro Machiyama; Shinji Higuchi directs. I felt like this story needed to be longer in order to really work, especially with a more fine-tuned introduction; the character changes can lead to disappointment, though. Higuchi does well with what he has to work with, though.

Overall, Attack on Titan Movie: Part 1 is a good movie. Is it the perfect adaptation? No. It could have been a lot better. Is it entertaining? Yes, it's a lot of fun. I think there are two group that are more likely to dislike it: those with no knowledge of the series due to its rough introduction and those who absolutely love the series. If you're open-minded and if you don't mind missing out on some details, I think you'll enjoy this one. And, if you want some adaptations that are damn-near perfect, check out the Rurouni Kenshin movie series.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

No comments:

Post a Comment