Attack on Titan Movie Storyline: ❝ 100 years ago, titans suddenly
appeared on Earth. Soon, human civilization veered on collapse due to
the titans. Humans then built a giant wall to defend themselves. Within
the giant walls, humans lived in peace, but, 100 years later, the giant
wall is broken. ❞
Movie Details :
▪ Release Date : 2015-08-01
▪ Casts : Satomi Ishihara, Ayame Misaki , Pierre Taki, Nanami Sakuraba,
Takahiro Miura, Jun Kunimura, Haruma Miura, Rina Takeda, Shu Watanabe,
Kiko Mizuhara, Takahiro Miura, Kanata Hongo, Matsuo Satoru, Seino Nana
▪ Duration : 90 minutes
I’ll begin by saying that I am familiar with the source material. Well, half of it. I watched up to Episode 13 of the original Snk/AoT but admittedly grew bored of it because it seemed to drag out insignificant subplots, starting to wear thin for me. I ended up having the rest of it spoiled anyway, so yes I know how it all goes down. But I’m here to talk about the new live-action adaptation right? Right. That means I will not be comparing it to the anime or manga. I want to emphasize this because a lot of die-hard fans of the books or series seem to be extremely worked up about the producers taking creative liberties–why?? What’s the point of turning something into another art form if it’s not going to offer anything new? So I have nothing against the choices they’ve made to add variety. Let’s get to the film!
Frankly there’s no other way to put it… this is a bad movie. It’s quite sad too, because you can tell everyone has put a lot of effort into it, trying to make something genuinely good. I do believe there is a solid idea and story to be told, buried beneath the final product. I like how they’ve taken a horror approach; it’s a great idea and it works very well with the material. Unfortunately, it’s not scary at all. It is bogged down by cartoony characters, a poor screenplay, and odd direction, among other issues.
It opens with a little narration explaining all the backstory leading up to the events of the movie. We are then introduced to our main characters Eren (Haruma Miura), Mikasa (Kiko Mizuhara), and Armin (Kanata Hongō). Eren drags his two friends to the giant wall, where he speaks about escaping to explore all the wonders and rumors they’ve heard about. They get caught by the defense military, and Eren rants about titans being extinct. Well! Just then, the giant titan, the one bigger than the wall itself, emerges and starts to breach the wall. In the meantime, while most people are running for their lives, these characters decide to linger around in front of the collapsing wall to… I guess observe and report? A gaping hole is about to be made. Now they start running! Sort of. They’ve run maybe 50 meters from the wall before stopping again. Dozens of titans begin to infiltrate. Events unfold, 2 years pass, and we are introduced to more characters, most of whom are new to the lore. I’ll stop there for the premise. And these first 20 or 30 minutes show you what the rest of the movie will be like.
This leads me back to the problems. For one, none of the actors ever look convincingly afraid or in any way menaced by giant monsters who like like naked humans and who eat humans. I’m not familiar with the others, but I’ve seen Miura in Koizora (2007) and The Eternal Zero (2013) where he gives good performances, so I don’t doubt his ability to act. I don’t fully blame the actors, given they were probably reacting to tennis balls, and the dialogue given to them was horrible. But the director should’ve caught these, which leads me to direction. Doing some research, I get the impression that Shinji Higuchi is not known for his directing, but rather as a storyboard artist and visual effects supervisor. There are some good shots and choices, but it has a lot of moments intended for visual splendor, which look like something taken straight out of an anime. People handle the 3D maneuver gear with so much ease that it looks like a video game. I don’t think this is the best thing to do when aiming for something believable. There’s another problem. You don’t buy into this world; it all feels fabricated, and many things feel forced, like they have to happen just because it was written. There are many “movie-moment” lines, character motivations are ridiculous, and they have no emotional weight. We hardly spend time to know any of them, so we don’t really care what happens. Overall, the screenplay is sloppy and all over the place, often not sure what kind of movie it wants to be.
Lastly, this is something everybody talks about. The CGI is horrendous. Granted, ¥2.23 billion (roughly US$19 million) is a tiny budget for a film this size, so the money necessary for the top visual effects is probably not enough. Now, effects don’t make a good movie. This could have the greatest CGI the world has ever seen but still be a subpar movie because of all the other elements. So in no way am I saying that the visual effects are what made this movie bad. In any case, it’s not very pleasing to look at; people’s faces are awkwardly composited onto bodies, making them look like the sun from Teletubbies. There is also the occasional unfinished titan that appears a bit transparent:
As for comic relief, Sasha (Satoru Matsuo) is the only comedy I remember. For the most part, it works. Yes of course her character is straight from a cartoon, but so is pretty much any person from a movie who loves to eat. I liked how they handled her.
In the end, that’s about all I have to say. What hurts me is that this had the potential to be a very original horror movie, and I think that’s what the filmmakers were going for. Sadly it didn’t deliver, and we were left with very mediocre film. I can’t say I was ever bored, but I don’t recommend it. If you must watch it, at least do it with a friend. I’ll watch Part 2, but I don’t expect much.
On a side note, I wonder what this franchise would be like if Guillermo del Toro got his hands on it. Hmmm…
1.8 /5 Bowls of Stirfried Rice
Still here? Let me make a quick disclaimer. Look, I don’t like to openly criticize films because as an aspiring filmmaker, if I am to ever make the same mistakes I critique, I’ll be labeled as a hypocrite with no credibility. My goal isn’t to dump on movies, just so you know. I like voicing my opinion. Reviewing movies is fun, and I’m just doing this for sh*ts and giggles. :D