You know, after watching the series of the same name, I would never think it would continue or developed to be such a big franchise. However, the ending of the series didn’t quite satisfy some folks or that it went some confused and/or dazed (I was just confused some of the time in this show) but luckily after 3-4 years when the series ran in 2006, there was a movie adaptation coming to the fray in 2010 in Japan, but I didn’t know if it was one of those compilation movies where they just put scenes from the show and make it different somehow.
Shirou Emiya finds himself an unwilling participant in a deadly competition where seven Mages summon heroic spirits as servants to duel each other to the death. They compete for the chance to make a wish from the Holy Grail, which has the power to grant any wish. Shiro is unskilled as a mage and knows nothing of the Holy Grail War, but he and his servant, Saber, enters into a temporary partnership with another Mage, Rin Tohsaka. However, problems arise between Shirou and Rin's servant, Archer, who seems to seriously despise him.
You know what, I could go over how I feel about the characters and story of this show but I would be repeating myself from the series’ review. However, I will say that the story has a very darker tone, compared to the PG-13ish tamer nature of the series, cutting out some of the high school filler and anything with the two non-major characters and while it does a retelling of it, some characters who you expect to make it out alive in the series, without giving spoilers away, some of them got some fucked-up deaths and for some of the latter part of the movie, it’s centered around Shiro and Archer, as opposed to Saber, who still have a major role in this but more in the background. Also, you know Shiro still has ideals of him becoming a champion of justice, being a hero and all that while Archer, who’s been through it all, became cynical about it and feels the need to kill Shiro to remind him of that.
Honestly, I’m with Archer on this, mainly because I still stand by the fact that Shiro is that noble jackass who has these traditional hero traits but when it comes to him going against opponents that are more stronger and powerful than him, he is still the hard-headed moron that doesn’t get it that he can easily die of that. Sure, you can say he may not be strong, but he has heart but you forget that you also need brains to fighting an opponent or uses their advantages against them, which Shiro did sort of used in the end.
For the animation by Studio DEEN………this actually does resemble the animation in Fate/Zero but this is on a movie budget so of course, it’s going to look better than the series since that was made in 2006-07 and the movie in 2010 with the fighting animation more fluid, the brutal scenes feel more gripping as you watch it and maybe felt some scenes that involves a lot of blades, hence, Blade Works. The music has the mysterious and haunting tone that it was going for but I barely notice some of it as I watched it.
The Sentai Filmworks dub with used the original (sort of) voice actors from the series, provided by Bang Zoom Entertainment and if you remember, I said, they used THREE DIFFERENT VOICE ACTRESSES for Saber and this is the second one voiced by Michelle Ruff and for her performance…..it was nothing outstanding. She did fine or close to Kate Higgins to an extent as Ruff always works her monotone voice in most anime characters and it was just a “meh” performance. The dub as a whole was more of a step up from the TV series, it was a 60% improvement over the TV series.
FINAL VERDICT: The movie passes on levels that it took a darker tone in the franchise, making it more serious than what it was but alas, it still suffers from the same problems with the same characters. If I could say this, I would just watch the movie and just skip the show now that I have seen it and like many others say, some of the answers will be further explained in Fate/Zero.