Ok, what the heck did I just watch right now? This was supposed to be a mystery/action/angst movie but it looked more like a horror house attraction, only the scary freaks were dressed like clowns. Yes, clowns are the scariest thing in existence but they are not suited in a grim dystopia setting with a supposed serious theme.
This is after all the main problem of this movie. It tries to throw in a dozen serious and interesting themes but fails completely to feel scary or interesting or serious or whatever. Remember those old horror films of the 60’s? They may have been scary back then but nowadays they are only good at making you laugh and get the niche French tag Gran Guignol. Well, those films are excused a bit for being old and made in an era with a lack in convincing visual effects. This movie on the other hand is not really old. Several similar movies were made around the same time and, boy, they look decades ahead of it.
So, what went wrong?
As far as looks and sounds go, the movie ain’t bad. There is detailed work done in the backgrounds, so the technocratic city, the visual effects during the battles and the bizarre otherworld look very good to gaze upon. The problem comes with the foreground. The characters try to pass for serious or scary but are in fact more comical than anything else. From the lame bald underlings, to the transvestite sub-boss, to the freaked-out crazy midget old dude with the imba powers, everything looks like a circus instead of a fitting distopia cast. Did I mention the scouter foreheads? Man, what a lame idea! In this series your “power level” (normal people have 5; see the parallel?) in psychic abilities is revealed as neon glow numbers on your forehead when you are fighting, as if you have the need to reveal your statistics to the opponent or something. And these dudes are called Headmasters, lol, a Transformers allusion. And I won’t stick much to the context of the dialogues which are written by a 10 year old and hardly seem fitting for such a movie.
CAST & SCRIPT
Never, never, never try to include more themes than the duration allows you to. The scriptwriters added a dozen different elements in it and tried to analyze them in 90 minutes, half of which were action scenes. Guess what; they failed. What can I say, not even the Matrix trilogy managed to do it right in the long run; imagine this b-level movie trying to do the same with far less time and money. It was bound to fail.
The story itself has room for a nice watch. The lead man and a bunch of chicks are running away from an evil organization that plans to exploit their infinite psychic powers to become Gods and rule the universe or something. Very cheesy, I know, but the idea of espers and reality bending with mental powers sounds so much better than magic or McGuffin big bombs. Anyway, the only good part in it is the premise as all the rest are a mess. Half the story needed to be implied through dialogue and flashbacks and the other half was battles in a shounen type of manner. Ok, maybe a bit better than shounen, as the defeated warriors are torn to shreds in quite a gruesome way. Then again, you hardly get to know them so it doesn’t feel scary or sad, other than a fleeing feeling of cool. The good-guy characters are simply not given the proper time to let you bind with them and, typically, the lead man just gets SSJ when he needs to protect those he cares about, thus there is no strategy or suspense at all. Also, the villains are nothing but cardboard idiots. Anyway, the story in general is a big failure as in the end the crazy leader dwarf dude just got super powerful and tried to beat the very people all his armies couldn’t capture for they didn’t have infinite power. Well, hello, he already had the power and if would leave the heroes alone, he could have ruled the universe, minus the small cottage they wanted to live peacefully in.
This movie is a joke. No, actually it is not even funny. So simple, linear and lame that you can hardly enjoy it if you have seen even one of the titles in the suggestion list below.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 6/10
General Artwork 1/2 (blunt)
Character Figures 0/2 (clowns)
Backgrounds 2/2 (detailed)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 2/2 (interesting)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 1/3 (bad)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 5/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (cheesy)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch)
Memorability 1/4 (just another random movie)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Art 0/1 (looks silly)
Sound 0/2 (sounds meh)
Story 1/3 (good ideas, bad handling)
Characters 0/4 (they are clowns)
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