In response to my friend Detective Dee’s excellent and earnest critique of the AoT Movie, I thought I would offer my perspective after watching the rest of said Adaptation.
##Some minor spoilers ahead!##
I have a confession-I don’t follow Anime as much as I used to. There are way too many series available that causes such dilemma on what to watch that I get overwhelmed by the choices. However, there are notable exceptions that just reel me right in. Primary examples are High School of the Dead, Tiger and Bunny and previously, Attack on Titan. After hearing all the hype about this series, I took it upon myself to see if it’s worth the constant praise and it most certainly was!
Now because of the Anime’s positive reception, now comes a live action adaptation 3 years later and here’s what I thought of the finished product.
Attack on Titan starts with a brief narration of how the Titans arrived and nearly decimated civilization and as a response, the survivors were forced to build a huge wall around their City and lived peacefully for at least 100 Years until a stream of “Meteorites” fell from the Sky.
Then what followed was a huge “BOOM” encompassing that the fortified walls were broken as an army of zombified Behemoths had made their way into the Monzen district. (I made the mistake of turning on my Sub woofer because methinks the neighbors may have mistaken the film’s sound effect for an explosion. LOL) Afterwards, there was a jaw-dropping massacre scene in which no one was spared.
Said scene sets the tone for protagonist Eren Jaeger’s contempt and motivation for destroying the Titans for once and for all.
What the film accomplishes is how they manage to cram plenty of elements from the 12 Episode Anime with encompassing an alternate story for those who are all too familiar with the series’ mythos. (I.e. Jaeger’s flashback lesson on how to kill the Titans via mobility gear-a gas powered grappling system that elevates members of the scout regiment in order to strategically take down the Titans.)
If there are any major flaws I have with the movie would be within the second act.
- The pacing was off at times, and could’ve used some serious editing just like Beat Takeshi’s Brother.
- That fight scene with Eren and the jerk Cadet felt thrown in as a cheap measure to keep the audience entertained.
- Although the reveal regarding Eren’s love interest Mikasa didn’t shock me quite as much however there was an element of character depth as witnessed during her aftermath of the Titan invasion.
“The World is Cruel”
Oh yes, as witnessed from young Eren’s heartbreak soon afterwards.
Some members of the regiment choose to fight for either the survival of humanity, revenge and in some cases, “benefits” for serving such as Child Support.
I was impressed with the action sequences which involved the utilization of the mobile gear. The camera pans and angles matched that of its Anime counterpart and that’s a good thing to take into consideration and it’s not all about the aerial combat either. One of the members uses a giant axe to slash the tendons of the Titan (Another weak point besides the Nape.)
“What do you call Animals who live inside a Fence in fear of Wolves”?
There is that all too familiar trope as demonstrated when after recalling words from his Superior, Captain Shishikima Eren musters the courage to go at it slob against the Titans and for those who are familiar with the Anime, may have a good idea of how it plays out.
What I admire about AoT is the feel of tension, hopelessness and despair which bodes well in a dark dystopian world, however, besides the Titans, the regiment are forced to struggle against their inner demons such as fear, traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s remorse. It’s a bit of psychological horror as well however, there is a beacon of hope toward the end.
“Be careful when you fight the Monsters lest you become one”
The ending credits totally aped from Marvel’s Avengers with the weapons displayed during the credits and of course the mid-credits scene but taken to a new level especially when giving a sneak preview of the upcoming sequel End of the World which looks more promising than the first movie. That being said, the song “Anti-Hero” has got to go!!
Despite a few flaws and story hiccups I enjoyed the live-action adaptation overall and I’m a bit optimistic (and cautious) in regard to the sequel.