Blog 8-26-15 Attack on Titan Live Action movie review

Here I go again! I am hoping to write a semi-daily blog. To get the ball rolling I want to discuss the new live action “Attack on Titan” movie. I got to see it just the other day. And boy was I confused. I don’t know if it is supposed to be a live-action version. Or is just going its own way. I get the feeling that it is going its own way. Having read as much of the manga I can get my hands on, plus seeing the anime series, this movie was very confusing. I may have to see it again with no expectations. I just figured that it was going to be a retelling of the original story. But I am wrong.

For the live-action film, the screenwriter(s) have taken some of the more obvious elements from the animated series and woven them into a separate but equal story line. This film has to be taken on its own. But the problem I have is that I have seen the animated series and read the manga. So I have a preconceived idea what is going to happen or what I expect to happen. So I made the bold move of watching the film again. It didn’t make any more sense the second time as the first. The beautiful of the manga/animated series is that it is very tight in character development. The live action just has everyone running around screaming. Is it fair to compare the live-action to the animation? No, but it is hard not to. My biggest problem with the movie is that it doesn’t follow the manga story line all the time. It follows sometimes and other times it goes its own way. I would have preferred if for the live-action, Attack on Titan had been completely re-imagined.

Now for the items that are from the manga/animated series. First the best scene of the movie is when the Colossus Titan is looking over the wall. Seeing it in a live action setting really impresses one with its size. And I understand now why the Japanese like their Godzilla. The west doesn’t really go for the gigantic monsters. Its appearance was quite spectacular. The titans that ravage the town were just so so. They were kind of underwhelming. Sure there is a lot of blood and guts when they chow down, but I found it very uninteresting. The Vertical Maneuvering Equipment which isn’t seen till final third of the movie is nicely done. Overall the special effects are okay. The scenes with the titan are dark and gritty, the scenes in the beginning in the fields is light and pretty. Am I watching the same movie?

And one more problem item is the music for the live-action movie. Shiro Sagisu has worked on some of my favorite anime series/movies (Neon Genesis: Evangelion, His and Her Circumstances and Berserk: Golden Age Arc). He really missed the mark here.

Overall even without the manga/animation comparison, this movie fails to deliver. There is a second live-action movie promised. Will the second one wrap up the story line? How can it? It would have to go off canon to do that, even more than it all ready has.