Film #176: Attack on Titan (2015)

attackontitanaka: Shingeki no kyojin (進撃の巨人)
Director: Shinji Higuchi
Language: Japanese
Length: 98 minutes
Watched on: 28 December 2015 (plane 2/4)

OK, I’d been warned about this movie before I watched it – live action adaptations of Japanese comics don’t have a good reputation, and this is supposed to be a pretty bad example.

The plot seems to be that the Titans, big brainless zombie-giants, are attacking humanity from all angles, and have boxed humanity in to a fenced off area (reminiscent of the central part of ”The Maze Runner” for me). The movie follows some young army recruits who are sent to destroy the virtually-indestructible beasts, as it turns out they can kill them by stabbing them in the neck or something. And for some reason they have to use Spidermanesque jet-packs. Who are these Titans, anyhow? Are they magic? Questions like that were left unanswered – presumably they’re explored in the comic, which the filmmakers assume we’ve all read.

I didn’t really get what was going on for most of the movie, and my disbelief was thoroughly unsuspended by the three teenage leads’ lack of acting skill, and the fact that their hair stays in a perfect emo swish for the entire movie despite being dirty and grubby elsewhere. When the battle scenes come later in the movie, what they were actually doing escaped me, and I didn’t get why they had to use jet-packs (surely they could have just blown the things up). There are a few twists and reveals, but they were clumsy and unexplained.

I also wasn’t expecting these giant sexless naked monsters, too, and the CGI was really awkward (the faces didn’t sit well on the bodies). The actors playing the Titans seemed to be enjoying themselves too much, again cutting through suspension of disbelief.

I guess if I want to actually find out more about this work I’ll have to read the manga. I think I can live without it. It’s a shame really – the comic and anime are supposed to be good, but this film really wasn’t.

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