If you’ve read my review of Attack on Titan the Live Action Movie Part One then you’ll know that whilst flawed I found it to be ultimately a fairly enjoyable experience. Two days after seeing Part One at Glasgow’s GFT cinema I was back to see Part Two, intrigued as to how they would wrap up the story and with a glimmer of hope in my heart that it could be a satisfying experience. I couldn’t have been more wrong. How can two parts of the same movie – clearly made at the same time – be so different? Part Two is a cataclysmic failure on almost all counts.
First, the good. Plot wise Part Two wraps up the story reasonably well. It opens in a promising fashion introducing a whole new class of Titan, and there’s a clear ending which leaves some room for a continuation of the series but does a good job of closing off all but one plot thread which I’ll touch on later.
And now on to the bad. Yeesh, it’s awful. The acting is awful, the characters continue to be unlikable until quite late on by the time most everyone else has been killed and even then ‘like’ is a difficult word to apply to any of them. Eren’s whineyness grates as does Armin’s face which seems stuck in a petulant scowl. Like Part One the exceptions continue to be Tank Girl and Potato Girl, but it’s Shikishima who is the biggest affront in the movie as he grows to be an ever bigger douchebag than he was in the first part.
There is one particularly jarring scene that I need to tell you about – it’s one of those ‘so shit you kind of want to see it again, but not really’ bits. After being rescued from certain death Eren wakes up in a well lit white room with country music playing from a ’50’s Wurlitzer jukebox. As he investigates this bizarre item Shikishima is suddenly behind Eren holding a bottle and two champagne flutes. At this point in the cinema hall there were titters of laughter at the out of place absurdity. He proceeds to fill in a bit of backstory as to where Titan’s come from by projecting archived footage all around the white room, and when it’s finished we find both he and Eren dressed in white linen outfits, the room now has a sandy floor and Shikishima is now lounging ‘seductively’ on one of two white deckchairs. The titters in the hall grow into guffaws.
The cringe-fest continues as Shikishima now somewhat homoerotically tries to bring Eren into his frankly idiot scheme to overthrow the government despite the tiny sliver of a sub plot that he and Eren may in fact be brothers. This plot thread is never answered by the way, so you’d be left wondering all along if you could muster up enough interest in any of these no hope characters to give a damn about them. By this point most of the theater are pissing themselves laughing. One friend later referred to this scene as “the white room of exposition” whilst another went simply with “the bum palace”. Both seem valid.
It may seem I’m knocking the movie for a single scene but as the movie carries on it still manages to get worse. There are barely any Titans in Part Two, a bit of an oversight considering their titular placing; The few Titans you do see are recycled from Part One. When there’s some action scenes involving Titan fighting it looks like a knock off of Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. Presumably they’ve used up the budget by this point on the admittedly impressive colossal Titan CGI which occupies the movie’s finale.
It doesn’t seem to make sense to suggest watching Part One and never watching Part Two as you’ll never get a conclusion to the tale but I also find it very difficult to recommend it. Maybe see it for a laugh? Lower your expectations and then bump them down a further notch.
There’s a current trend in Japanese cinema and TV to convert anime into live action versions. In that respect this double bill works fairly well although the overall execution isn’t as good as it could have been. Hopefully they won’t go for a Part Three.