Attack on Titan Live Action- full movie review:
The very first time I had seen Attack on Titan was when I found this obscure little anime that was hidden on the streaming service Crackle. Well before the American public even knew what this weird Japanese cartoon was, where giant goofy looking humanoids were going around eating people! Then the way the anime would rip the viewers emotions to pieces as each and every one of the brave (or petrified) heroes would fall one by one in gruesome death scenes. I really couldn’t believe how fantastic this new anime was! That is when I started telling everyone that I knew about this bizarre but totally awesome anime. But since it started in the U.S. on Crackle, no one was giving it a chance.
Then came the day Attack on Titan showed up to Netflix! It really didn’t take long for the entire world to catch up to what the Japanese had already been enjoying in manga form for quite some time now. I had already grown out of my Attack on Titan anime phase well before it appeared on Netflix. Since there are only 25 episodes I couldn’t get too deep into the series until more came out (and more are finally on the way).
So when I got to watch this live action movie of “Attack on Titan,” I wanted to have the input of current real fanatics of each medium to the AoT franchise. All three of the people I had watched the movie with have seen the entire anime series, so let’s here take a look at their breakdowns…
Nate: has LOVED the anime since the first day I told him about the series on Crackle and showed him an episode. AoT’s first days on Netflix, Nate watched the entire series in a two night binder. He’s probably the most die-hard fanatic of the bunch and is dreading that the live movie will suck. Does not read the manga.
Zack: Is just your average casual fan of the show. It took friends and family to get him to watch it but once he did….he loved the anime. Does not read the manga but has a very strong grasp of all the characters and story lines. Very critical when it comes to cheesiness factor (bad dialogue, bad CGI) in movies.
Jordan: The only one of the group who actually reads all the manga books and knows just about every detail of every character. Not overly critical on changes to the movie unless it just does not make sense. But is also critical when it comes to cheesiness factor in movies, especially the storytelling.
Personally, I think Attack on Titan made by a Japanese movie studio that will take the source material so serious, they also included the AoT creator Hajime Isayama to be involved in the film making process also is great to do. While the Japanese film industry is not quite Hollywood standards, this AoT is as good as it is going to get until sequels can be made if these movies (AoT 1 parts 2) generate money by becoming major box office hits.
The CGI on AoT is not too bad for what it is. What it is, is a medium budget studio (compared to Hollywood) with special effects that could rival a major budget sci-fi American TV series. I only compare it this way because we Americans are completely spoiled when it comes to movie CGI that we take it for granted how hard great CGI work is to pull off. Attack on Titan pulls off its CGI work with flying colors (pun intended). The titans are very believable and the goofy look is spot on if not even more creepy in live action. The best American movie I can compare CGI like this was in “Jack the Giant Slayer” where the CGI on the giants was spot on. Too bad Hollywood would mess up source material even worse and also have far less gore. The Titan’s voices were a bit off-putting but not too bad. The colossal titan that crashes the wall and is surrounded by smoke looks pretty badass if you ask me.
In the live action movie the 3D device is changed to OA Maneuvering Devices. While the costumes and tech gear look spot on, the CGI with the wire works stunts while attacking titans could have been a lot better. The wire works were fine by all standards but a lot of the actual flying in the air and especially when legionaries would fight the Titans and cut out their ‘sweet spot.’ This was poor looking compared to our Hollywood CGI standards. This is not enough to turn me off to this AoT live action movie or even from watching it over and over again. As I said, this is as good as we are going to get for an AoT movie even if Hollywood hands try to remake their own version. Nothing will be as close to the source material as this Japanese movie or even as gory if it was transferred to US audiences.
There is actually a titan baby in this movie! Yes an actual 4 to 5 stories tall baby Titan that the heroes run into while hearing it crying. This is about one of the craziest things I’ve seen and was not expecting. The manga reader of the group told us that there are no babies in the manga comics either; also none in the anime group of experts have seen this also. So that means this is the first time ever we are getting to see titan babies. If you look closely at the trailer for the sequel “End of the World” you can see another baby titan crawling in the open as it’s gobbling up humans for some crunchy nom-noms.
Levi is not anything close to being his original character in this movie. To tell the truth, Levi isn’t even in the film along with other familiar names from the anime. While this is very disturbing to many of our faithful anime and manga fans in our group, I don’t see too much of a problem in it since this new version is a bit more of a badass. This does put a major twist in what original fans know in the source material and a certain relationship with Mikasa that’s vital to the anime. I do wonder if this new Levi has anything to do with his manga spin-off series of him coming from a secret society of some ultra badass titan killers.
The movie has the feeling and emotion I wanted from the anime series perfectly. This is the main reason I liked the anime in the first place and what I wanted to make sure this live action movie would emphasize. The overly gratifying gore was a major bonus!! Not only did humans get eaten…..they got eaten good!! From the half body bite, the mouth full of human chomp to an awesome blood/spit waterfall that falls on horrified humans getting picked off in a narrow pathway. Also included is the over-the-top Japanese dramatics as fans will recognize Hanji the titan-fanatic. The upgraded technology setting changes seems to fit well with me as changes that do makes sense from the anime source material.
SPOILERS: The fight scene in the end of the movie with Titan-Eren vs the other titans was breathtakingly exhilarating!! In scenes that took me back to my childhood Ultraman viewing days (long before Mighty Morphing Power Rangers giants battles). Titan-Eren not only kicks titan-ass…..he absolutely obliterates them!! Basically knocking the flesh off faces as he pulverizes titan after titan in some crazy ass fighting scenes. The ending makes the entire movie worth watching over and over again.
Once the movie is over, don’t leave just yet as there is a mid-credits trailer for AoT 2: End of the World trailer with a look at Titan-Eren vs Titan-Annie which looks spectacular!! All of this in the next gruesome installment of Titan madness!
I would recommend watching AoT. I would also recommend buying it to re-watch in your personal collection if you are an AoT fan. If you are an absolute fanatic of any medium of Attack on Titan – be it the anime, manga or any of the spin-off manga, then you will end up disappointed. Here is the ranking by my fellow titan movie watching committee.
Manny (me) – The original fan of the show that didn’t go overly fanatic on the series: 7 out of 10.
Nate – The guy who fell in love with the anime series and hates any type of change: 7 out of 10
Zack – The casual fan who likes the anime, is not overly fanatical about the show but knows all the storyline and characters: 6 out of 10.
Jordan – The girl who watched the anime and is the only one to read all the current manga: 6 out of 10