I took a look at the Attack on Titan movie, a live action adaptation of the overwhelmingly popular anime franchise. It was because of the series’ popularity that I was asked to review this live action version because – shock horror – I have not seen the anime, OK so I’ve seen a couple of episodes but I couldn’t get into it, I did intend to give it another go and after watching the movie I am even more determine. For now I am able to give an honest, un-biased, non-fangirl opinion which is….
I thoroughly enjoyed it! I might not have seen the series but I am a fan of anime so when I heard it was a live action reworking I admit I was concerned, how would they translate that beautiful, unique style of colour and darkness, and sharpness and softness that keeps us fans coming back, how would that translate to real live actors? My fears were unfounded as straight away I was drawn to the cartoonish characters in shabby yet somehow futuristic costume, set against backdrops that looked like watercolour masterpieces. Then we get to the story.
100 years before the start of the story giant humanoid creatures called Titans suddenly appeared, attacking and decimating most of humanity. To protect those who survived huge walls were built and peace returned for another 100 years. The present day and we join three friends Eren, Armin and Mikasa. Eren longs for a life beyond the restrictions of the walls and pulls his friends into his plans. After foiling an attempt by the friends to scale the walls the Captain of the Garrison tells them of a scouting mission – a chance to leave the confines of the walled cities – but before they have a chance to pursue this the peace is shattered….
I don’t think it would be spoiling anything to say the Titans are once again threatening the very existence of humankind and therefore it’s no surprise to say they are terrifying. Incidentally if there was one part of the film you would forgive the makers for using CGI for it would be the giant Titans but here’s the thing – they didn’t. The majority of the Titans are real actors and in my opinion this somehow makes them even more disgustingly terrifying.
I found the story absorbing and intriguing from the very start, my only criticism is that there is, in my opinion, very little character development, by the end I didn’t feel I had learnt that much more about the characters or their relationships than I knew at the beginning. Knowing how long running the anime franchise is I would think, and hope, that the movies are planned to follow the same slow build and the action certainly makes up for it.
I cannot say whether or not fans of the anime will enjoy this but without having to battle against the comparison this version drew me in with the look and kept me hooked by the story. I can’t say too much without revealing spoilers for those that haven’t seen it but the ending left me keen to find out how this beautifully frightening tale continues, whether I find out through further live action adaptations or the anime time will tell.