The wait for the release of the live-action Attack on Titan movie is over and reviews have started coming in from critics. Unfortunately, the early response isn’t great.In fact, one popular Japanese movie website wrote such a scathing review of the film that even the director felt compelled to respond to it on Twitter.
The Attack on Titan live action film review comes from the Japanese website Cho Eiga Hihyo (“Super Movie Reviews”) run by movie critic Yuichi Maeda. They score movies out of 100 points, and awarded Attack on Titan a failing 40. Yikes. Why so bad?
Here are some parts of the review, which we’ve translated into English:
“The Attack on Titan live-action film was created with the concept of changing things that were ‘unrealistic’ in the manga, rather than simply adapting the manga to the big screen. Unfortunately that concept undermined the entire film, making it feel even more like an ‘unrealistic’ manga than the work it was based on.”
Talk about not sugar-coating your words! The critic doesn’t hold back and sets the tone for the rest of the review right off the bat.
“The only character who gets away with being funny while acting stupid is Hans, played by Satomi Ishihara. However all the other characters, the story, and the direction is just as stupid as she is.”
Them’s fighting words, that’s for sure. Any examples of what was so bad about it?
“For example, right before a titan attacks, they’re told this: ‘The titans are sensitive to noise so don’t speak. If you’re going to yell then bite your tongue!’ So then why do Eren and the rest of the team immediately afterward gossip like little old ladies while they advance on the enemy? Sure they’re new recruits, but they can’t listen to something they were told barely a minute ago? Are they two years old?”
Apparently this isn’t an isolated incident in the movie. Eren and the gang running into titans while screaming is a common occurrence. But didn’t they do that in the anime. too? Either way, that’s not this critic’s only problem:
“There’s a sex scene, right in the middle of a titan attack on the town. What would make the producers want to put something ridiculous like that in? It doesn’t add anything to plot and it’s not funny or interesting. All you can do is stare in disbelief with your mouthing hanging open.”
To be fair, I haven’t seen this scene myself so he may have a point. But in all honesty, this sounds hilarious and I’m kind of interested to see how the film’s makers wove it in.
“The awkward plot keeps moving forward, making you more annoyed with the characters every minute. I wished the titans would eat the kids so the movie would just end. That’s not a good sign, because I’m pretty sure they’re not the team I was supposed to be rooting for.”
Another jab right in the movie’s face. The critic has certainly spouted a lot of angry words, but he hasn’t done a ton to back them up. Maybe we can get some insight in his conclusion.
“The producers felt that the characters being Japanese and having foreign names wasn’t realistic, so they changed them. And yet the three-dimensional maneuver gear, which is just as unrealistic, is perfectly fine to them. They misunderstood that the movie is its own reality, not ours, and it affected the entirety of the film.”
This is probably the critic’s most legitimate point. Of course things have to be changed when adapting a written work to a movie, but when the changes don’t help achieve the film’s goal, it takes the audience out of the movie. It prevents them from suspending their disbelief. Little problems like Eren yelling or an awkward sex scene can be laughed off, but if a movie just doesn’t feel right throughout, then that’s a big problem.
After conceding a few good parts about the film (presumably why it got 40 points and not zero), such as the titans attacking being well done, and the Spider-Man-like three-dimensional gear being cool, the critic ended his review on this final note:
“I may have a lot of problems with the film, but I will acknowledge that perhaps the sequel Attack on Titan: End of the World (to be released September 19) could fix everything with an unexpected twist. Maybe the titans are actually allies of justice, working together to eliminate the worst of humanity that is left in their world. Now that would be satisfying.”
But wait, that’s not all! The Attack on Titan live-action film’s director Shinji Higuchi caught wind of the review and posted a response on Twitter. He has since deleted the tweet, but here’s a translation of what he posted:
“Awesome! I had no idea what I’d do if the great-teacher movie critic actually praised us, so I feel so relieved now. Er, what I meant to say is, who’s the idiot who gave this guy an early release of the film?!”
Not exactly the most PR-friendly response, but it’s almost as entertaining as the review.
Source: Cho Eiga Hihyo
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