Sunday 31 July 2016

Attack On Titan Part 1: The Movie

‘Attack On Titan’ has been wildly popular both as manga and anime, and so many have been anticipating the live-action movie, split up into three parts. It’s been released at a good time – the anime is still underway, having recently encountered delays for season 2 (it’s now scheduled to be released next spring, for those that are asking – yep, I feel the pain too). 

‘Attack On Titan Part 1: The Movie’ focuses on about half of the first season, from the very first moment the titans attack up until the first major plot twist (no spoilers here, but you’ll know which one I mean if you’ve read the manga or seen the anime). It’s a brilliant plot – humans are now all condensed into one town, where three gigantic walls have been built round it in an attempt to shield out the human-eating titans that are annoyingly hard to get rid of. A sudden titan advancement means that they attack once again, gaining access inside the first wall and meaning that the population is back to a gruesome and tragic war. Eren, Mikasa, and Armin all join the scouts in a bid to stop the titans, whilst also finding out more about how they exist and behave.

Great story idea, right? So it’s a shame that the movie version decides to completely change the story around into something almost unrecognisable. I’m usually cool with changes to adaptations providing they add something to the story, but it just didn’t happen here. Eren, a determined main character whose main goal is to kill every titan out there, seems to find his motives switched round with Mikasa, his adopted sister who is supposed to become vengeful after seeing her parents brutally murdered in front of her. This key point isn’t actually touched on at all, and so I’m only hoping it will appear as a flashback in either the second or third part of the movie.

Two key characters don’t actually seem to exist in the film – again, it may be that they are included later on, but it still doesn’t make much sense that way. What’s even more out of place are the strange romances that clearly did not exist in either the manga or the anime – they don’t add anything to the story, but rather detract from it. And I hate to break it to you all, but Levi? He’s downright creepy in this version.

There were still good characters and scenes though – Armin’s character is explored well and is almost completely faithful to the anime. Hanji is another character who comes across well, and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the next parts. We also get to see a lot of the tension between Eren and Jean, which also really helps the storyline.

To be honest, it had the potential to be a really good film. The soundtrack is beautifully diverse, and often adds a lot to each individual scene. The digital effects are true to the anime and are actually pretty good for what they are – somehow the titans are even scarier than they were in the anime. It’s also a hell of a lot gorier, and so I’d certainly recommend it if you’ve been wondering what noise a human being might make when chewed in half at the waist. Lots of dismembered limbs and blood all over the place, so it’s not letting the story down there.

The acting was a bit shoddy, and some of the scenes were downright bizarre, but I’ll still be watching the next one to see if it picks up…I’m not anticipating much though. 2/5.

Hannah Read

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