‘Attack on Titan: End of the World’ Theatrical Review
Attack on Titan: End of the World goes to show that not everything should be made into a two-parter, and what’s worse, that not everything should be made into a movie. Once it leaves it original medium, there is something lost with it. What that something is I cannot say, but it will never be the same again or pony up to the original (source).
Shinji Higuchi’s Attack on Titan: Part 1 didn’t exactly open up with great reviews, despite having a solid $5.1 million opening in Japan. I think one of the biggest reasons why both critics and fans eviscerated the movie was that it literally tore the manga and anime apart (hehehe…). Changing key characters from the manga, and even inventing characters, the first movie was muddled and disjointed beyond recognition and repair. Sadly enough, the part 2 is not much better than the first.
Shinju Higuchi’s Attack on Titan: End of the World starts off with a nice 10-minute recap of the events of the first movie, which if not seen in back-to-back succession, is rather nice, as the movies deviate from both the manga and the anime considerably. With this ‘Previously on Attack on Titan’ intro, the actual running time gets knocked down to below 87 minutes.
The second AOT movie opens up about half-way through the anime series, with Eren bound and gagged after raging out and transforming into one of the enemies (A Titan!). With the “aid” of the Armored Titan, which breaks into the holding cell, kills a whole bunch of Military Police Brigade, and takes Eren away.
Okay, I understand that you are going to stray away a bit from the source material. I have come to terms with it, but dang it, if you are going to do it, do it right and well! Higuchi surely did not. The acting is borderline ridiculous and overall, I really struggled to get into the movie.
If there was anything that I did enjoy, it was the Titans. You could almost tell that Higuchi knew the people would recognize the large Titans and played to this. The smaller-sized Titans were far and few, and it was mostly the big boys, but I felt that it was ok, although almost dull and exhausting at some points. At some points, it seemed as if Higuchi was grasping at thin air for material and was just trying to make enough to justify splitting it into two films.
Another thing that I enjoyed was that it did try and fill some of the holes and answer some of the questions left from the anime; stuff about government conspiracy, origin of the Titans, etc., but just like the general theme from the movie, it could have been done much better. The bad guys are pretty bad, the conspiracy angle is pretty heavy, and it is all unclear and disjointed.
Along with the poor story, the main characters are not much better anyways. One of my favorite characters from the anime, Mikasa, is nothing more but the subject of a love triangle in the movie, who’s usually a skilled, strong-willed main character in the source material. To be fair, the rest of the characters aren’t much better either; the comic relief ones come off as awkward instead of funny, and the main characters are bland.
One thing the movies did bring that was on par with the anime was the uneasy and almost nauseous feelings the Titans create. I found myself wincing as much as I did when I saw the anime for the first time; the awful squish of blood as people are squashed and the crunch of bones as people are eaten alive.
Negative word of mouth hasn’t helped the film win many supporters. In its opening weekend in Japan, Attack on Titan: End of the World brought in approximately half of the first film ($2.7 million)
One phrase to sum up Attack on Titan: End of the World? Disjointed and all over the freakin’ place.