Shinji Higuchi‘s take on Attack on Titan, presented in the form of a live action film – to be shown in two parts, has released it’s first part in Japan, as I previously talked about in my article from a few weeks back, and I took some time to check it out.
=Warning – Contains Spoilers! You’ve been warned=
-This is a full film review-
Otakus, it may not be the time to rejoice. The live action adaptation of Attack on Titan has managed to take a great manga, and essentially obliterate it. Literally. Keep in mind that this is simply my personal review of this movie, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
The plot is ruined. The story is flawed, and the characters are ridiculous. Let’s slide right into this, because there’s quite a bit to cover.
Eren, Mikasa (scarf-less at this point), and good ol’ Armin are shown at the beginning of film, walking around the outskirts of their filthy village. Eren is complaining about life, because he’s just been fired from his job. Again. Apparently Eren can’t handle the complexities of a “job” in their incredibly sophisticated and advanced lives. He claims that it’s not fair that everyone must live inside a walled off city. It’s too much like a bird cage and he’s no animal. Might I add that he’s standing on top of an old crashed helicopter, because this version of AoT takes place in the future, where the reason the titans are there is because of electronics.
Moving on, this is where the plot thickens. Eren decides its time he climbed the wall and saw what was on the other side. That’s right. He decides to climb it. As they approach the completely unguarded wall, Mikasa shivers, because it’s cold. Eren takes off his scarf and wraps it around her. Bam. That’s the backstory to how she gets the scarf. Immediately after the destruction of Mikasa’s backstory, several Guards come running over out of nowhere, and instead of complying with the government, Eren proceeds to deck one in the face. Things fall apart really quickly – for the guards – because apparently Eren is an MMA master, and the only person who can stop his unquenched rage is the one and only: Souda. Or formerly known as Hannes in the Manga. Souda laughs and says some words, and the fighting stops. He then tells Eren that he once tried to court his mother by asking her to ‘hop the wall’ with him. Which failed. Awkward.
As the scene dies down, and the guards leave, the massive Colossal Titan appears, and screams for an ungodly amount of time. It’s rather uncomfortable. He smashes the wall with his foot several times, creating quite a ruckus in the city. Debris hits about 47% of the population and it gets really messy, and then finally the wall is breached. Titans. Lots of them.
I’d like to take a second to say that this film has some absolutely outstanding visual effects. Titans all have breathtakingly terrifying makeup on, with a mix of CGI, which is done so perfectly that it really creates a sense of horror in the film.
The next five minutes or so are very well done scenes depicting the devastation of the city. The guards had no time to prepare, and it was a complete slaughter. As the Titans consume every no-name actor and actress in sight, Eren and Mikasa run to see if his house was destroyed. Let it be known that both of Eren’s parents died years ago and have no relation to the story what-so-ever, currently. Well, that plan turns sour rather quickly, and they’re forced to run to a “shelter” Which interestingly enough is just a church of some kind. (Can God really save them?) Everyone is squeezing in, and of course there is a baby on the ground, which Mikasa simply must save. This action gets her locked out of the church, as the Smiling Titan (which is laughing hysterically) approaches from the distance. Eren can’t get out of the church to save her, and he’s forced to look away. Loud noises ensue and screams echo throughout the church as Mikasa is apparently eaten. As the noise settles down Eren manages to get out of the church to try to find Mikasa. He then turns around to see several Titans rip the church apart and everyone is pummeled into a pool of blood, which seeps out from the doors. Eren then proceeds to walk aimlessly down the ruined streets, lost. Apparently every single Titan just vanished, because he doesn’t get eaten, and the city is quite empty.
Fast-forward two years, and Eren and Armin are done with training. We didn’t even get the privilege of seeing any of the training, which was a huge letdown. A lot of side characters are announced, like Sasha, Jean, and a few others, however most of them aren’t given much screen time. The troops are told that there is a mission coming up in which they must take explosives that have been stored in a secret location, to the hole in the wall, and collapse it to stop titans from entering the city.
They embark on their mission during the night to avoid titans while it’s still dark. Eren, Armin, Jean and the others are loaded up into an armored truck and they drive through the wreckage of the old city. At the sight of movement, instead of driving faster, since titans are slow and stupid, everyone gets out and decides to figure out if it was a titan moving about. It turns out to be cattle, however, a child is heard crying in the distance. Eren and Hiana – a character that did not exist in the manga or anime, decide to check it out. Well, it was a baby titan, and they end up making a lot of noise trying to run away from it. The disturbance wakes up a lot of titans and a lot of no-named characters are eaten in the havoc. Everyone is then saved by Captain Shikishima – Levi, and an unknown girl – Mikasa – who was apparently saved by Shikishima. Somehow. As the soldiers move to a safe spot, Eren confronts Mikasa, and is shot down by Shikishima, who awkwardly feeds her an apple, sexually, in an attempt to make Eren angry. Eren runs off crying and screaming, and is eventually stopped by Hiana. She then takes him to a house, where she attempts to seduce him. Yeah, it gets awkward. Of course, he doesn’t get any, due to the fact that there was a titan watching them from a crack in the wall, and Hiana is then grabbed and eaten right in front of him. Yep. That actually happens.
I’d like to mention that Shikishima is a huge creep, and an awkward character. He has almost no aspects of Levi, except that he’s a good fighter. It was really unfortunate that the actual Levi was replaced with such a shallow, lame, and creepy character.
Also, the safe zone the troops went to happened to be housing the explosives, which end up getting stolen by a terrorist. As he gets in the armored truck, he is thwarted by a character who has just lost her boyfriend to a titan. which is actually the couple from the manga, in which the boyfriend is cut in half. That scene is actually in this movie as well, but they give the girlfriend quite a ridiculous role . She then counter-steals the explosives and drives into a titan screaming for revenge. There goes the plan.
As everyone is running and screaming, Mikasa and Skikishima take it upon themselves to slaughter all of the titans. This causes Eren to hop in on the action and show them what he’s got. He dashes about without slaying any of them, and eventually gets his leg bitten off. With a striking resemblance to the manga, a titan picks up Armin, and attempts to consume him. In the frantic rush to save Armin to Eren gets his arm chopped off and is consumed. Fast forward two minutes, and Eren literally explodes through the titan’s mouth in titan form. He runs around and destroys all of the titans in a shower of blood, and saves the day. As he turns and looks at Mikasa, she sees that it’s actually Eren. He then tries to kill Mikasa before falling over, exhausted. Mikasa cuts him out of his titan and the credits literally start rolling.
That’s it. That’s Attack On Titan – The Live Action Adaption. (Part 1)
All in all, I personally have decided to give it a 6 out of 10.
What was meant to be a fresh take on the Attack on Titan universe, ended up being very stale, and it’s flawed in many ways, like the changes made to some parts of the story, and to the characters. There are some good aspects to the film, though. The CGI and costumes were amazing, and the fight scenes were very, very well done – for what it was. It just lacked the depth that the manga’s universe has.