Fantasia Film Review: Gatchaman

(Source: Nippon Television)

(Source: Nippon Television)

Oh Gatchaman, what am I going to do with you?

Based on a well known anime from 1970, it’s a live action movie of G-Force! Originally known as Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, this feature film has everything – including a couple of things I would’ve left out. I really, really wanted to love this movie and I did applaud for its glorious moments, but they are few and a bit far between.

It starts more or less fine. We are introduced to Ken (Tori Matsuzaka), Jun (Ayame Goukiri), Junpei (Tatsuomi Hamada) and Ryu (Ryohei Suzuki). They’ll be joined by George (Go Ayano). Initially, Ken is the leader that strictly follows the rules. Jun is the female member that goes from kicking ass into turning into part of the comic relief. Junpei is the computer whiz hacker kid. Ryu is the strong arm with an appetite. George is the rebel bad ass.

Their first battle was actually one of the better parts of the movie. Then the focus is between Ken, George and the leader of the Galactors. And this focus turns very dramatic including long flashbacks and periods of contemplation. Actually, that was my biggest problem with the movie. The drama is just overkill on a movie that is supposed to be action focused. There’s a huge amount of constant exposition that is kept campy and unnecessarily serious.

Unfortunately it breaks the movie’s feeling of suspense and makes it unnecessarily long. You actually feel the audience getting antsy as we’re waiting for the movie to snap out of it and remember that there was an explosion about to go off in 30 seconds and that was five minutes ago. Can the sunset, get back to the battle.

But I had to watch it. I can’t pass on a live action movie of Battle of the Planets. In the end the day is saved and you do get to see the Phoenix on screen. Only recommended for fans of the original anime for nostalgic purposes.

That will do for now…. and for Fantasia. Until next year!

(Sources: 2013 Fantasia Film Festival, Gatchaman Movie Official Site)

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