After following an escaped convict named Ashley Crichton to Table City, a town on the border of the neighbouring country Cleta, Ed and Al soon find that this is a much more complicated case than a simple criminal on the run. When their train is attacked upon arrival by a rebel faction known as the Black Bats, the two Elric brothers find themselves at the bottom of a deep valley that is now home to the people of Milos, whose lands were taken from them during bloody battle with both Cleta and Amestris. Headed by the Black Bats, the people of Milos are intent on ending their miserable days as slaves to the military and reclaiming their sacred land. In order to do this, they must find a way to control the legendary alchemy, which requires a Philosopher’s Stone known as the Star of Milos; however, they aren’t alone in their hunt for the gem…
Story: What the hell did I just watch? I write this as soon as possible after returning from a screening at an indie movie theater in my hometown. Some of my friends went together to watch it since we were all fans of Full Metal Alchemist to some degree. It’s quite rare to see an anime in a theater, especially one with a name with such prominence as “Full Metal Alchemist,” so naturally we were excited to see our favorite characters on the big screen. Instead, what we got was a story more pretentious than Evangelion, more Aesopic than My Little Pony, and more cliché and cheesy than Star Wars Episode III. The story is simple. There is a nation of people who have never been mentioned before in FMA lore who are on the border between Cyrodiil and Skyrim two warring civilizations (can’t even recall their names now, that’s not important) who want to control it for a reason not revealed until the third act of the movie. Our two main characters were brother and sister who were separated after they escaped from an evil plot to kill their parents and steal their life’s work. This life’s work turns out to have the power to control the mythical “magma,” and with that power control the world. And so after the brother breaks out of prison where he was hiding for nearly five years he rescues his sister, with whom he wants to start a new life after being separated for so long. But the sister was taken in by the Palestinian Liberation Organization the people in the valley between the two civilizations, and wants to join in their cause for creating an independent state of Milos. There are several nonsensical plot twists that come out of nowhere and there are two battles likened to duels of force lightning, a maniacal desire for a new world order, and ridiculously obvious symbolism that would make the Evangelion writers cringe. Oh, and the Elric Brothers are somewhere in the story. Wait what? To be serious, the story is a mess. It consists of some funny moments, followed by Aesopic one-liners that sound like a philosophy student hitting the random button on Wikiquote. There were plotholes, clichés, and mood whiplashes throughout. The twists came out of absolutely nowhere, and the resolution had no consequence. Like the Pokemon movies, it takes place outside of the plotline of the series, so there are no lessons learned, no purpose, and no reason to ever mention this movie again. I will take that opportunity to burry this plot in the recesses of my mind. Animation: I only rate the animation so low because I expected more. It barely seemed up to par with the series of Brotherhood. Sure, they used some fancy CGI effects to make some of the scenes look modern, but they didn’t even add that much of an impact. Hey, I’m not looking for a Makoto Shinkai level of animation with every movie budget, nor do I expect every battle sequence to look like the Disney adaptation of the Firebird Suite, but please, could you at least make it better than the series upon which it’s based, and actually use the CGI for something other than train tracks? Sound: The voice actors were mostly excellent, like they were in the series. It’s the new characters that had issues. Alexis Tipton as Julia Crichton was okay, nothing amazing but at least she didn’t make any major mistakes. Matthew Mercer as her brother, on the other hand, was very much over the top, especially at the end. With the lines he had to say though, I don’t blame him too much. Vic Mignogna and Maxey Whitehead were fun to listen to as Ed and Al, but it barely seemed like they were used properly other than to try to piece together the ridiculous plot and spout Aesopic one liners. The music was great… for when it was present. As another reviewer said, a big problem with many of the battle sequences is that the music is not present. It just seems like chaotic noise, both what’s on screen and the sound of me banging my head on the table. The opening and ending credits also had awkwardly placed J-pop and J-rock tunes that served more as plugs for bands than providing any cinematic value. Characters: This is where the movie really dropped the ball. There just wasn’t enough of the characters you know and love. The story wasn’t even about them. It was about these “OCs” that have no emotional investment by the audience (as much as the movie fails at trying to make the audience make that investment). Unfortunately, these characters are ones we’ve seen before, a girl taken in by people who want their freedom who doesn’t even know she’s being used, and a brother who has delusions of grandeur just because he has a lot of power and the “torn childhood” excuse to use that power for selfish reasons. Oh, and the villian is one of those "new world order" villains we've seen a million times. Really, there isn’t more to the characters than that. Oh, and Roy Mustang fans; your favorite colonel spends most of the movie sitting at his desk answering the phone and riding a train. He doesn’t do anything significant through the whole movie except talk, talk, talk. Winry also makes a completely meaningless appearance, probably because some executive couldn’t bear to see an FMA movie without the sight of her breasts. It was sickening to see the characters used that way. Overall: I don’t see any reason for anyone to see this movie. It was bad, Atlantis the Lost Empire bad. It is certainly not worthy of bearing the Full Metal Alchemist name and should be buried in the same graveyard as the Star Wars Christmas Special. Also, don’t pay attention to anything timeroverx says about the anime. It was probably his fault that the anime was so terrible. :P
First Look - Let me tell you, after watching the season final of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood than reading about the message at the end and finding out there was going to be a movie, I was super exicted. I couldn't wait for it and I immediatly looked up info in anticipation since I'm like the bigest fanboy of the entire existance of Fullmetal Alchemist. After a few months and rewatching both anime multiple times I find out it will conclude Brotherhood and be made by Bones. So I was really hoping too see characters like Olivier and Ling Yao and more of the cast from later in the series. But after reading some more it turned out that it wouldn't exactly be a conclusion, but more like a side story ealier in the anime and that it would introduce brand new characters. So that hurt the chances of having a large cast of characters that I already loved =\ So I finally watched a while ago and here are my thoughts. Story - Hiromu Arakawa didn't write the story so you know it isn't going be as good as the her actual story of FMA. But I definitely think Bones did a great job with the pacing and what they kind of story they were trying to tell. I would have like more individual fights towards the end, like maybe the bad guys had some henchman that Roy and Riza could have fought. But that was just me wanting to see more of them. I kind of predicted things, but they were obvious things that are done in pretty much every show in existance. I liked Julia's back story and the stories of all the new character and thought the story was told well. My only problem was that I didn't seem like it involved the actual FMA characters enough. Ed and Al are the stars and there were kind of just there. Honestly I would have liked it better if maybe the movie focused on a few characters in the actual manga and anime that still had a story to be told. There could have easily been a stand alone movie with a different title. But overall I watched it all the way through without even questioning the story. So I give it an 8.5. Animation - The only complaint I had before actually watching the anime was the actual character designs. They looked a bit cartoony for what the anime and manga series gave us. But when I got into watching I got used to it and sucked it up since honestly it wasn't that bad anyways. The fights looked a bit weird but other than that it was fine. I'm not one to complain about the actual animation so I'll give it a 9. Music - One thing that Bones did absolutly right in both anime series, especially Brotherhood, was the music. You felt so much emotion just by hearing it and it could quickly change your mood just by a simple scene transition. And I still loved the music in this movie. A perfect 10! Characters - The main reason why I loved the manga and Brotherhood was the characters. I loved every single characer (good guys). And that's where the complaint comes in. I really wished the anime could have focused on the original characters more than the new characters. Even though I liked them I didn't absolutely love them. I wanted more Roy and his humor was just there to fix Ed's automail torwards the end so she was useless in the anime, and I hate to actually say too. But since that is more of a personal complaint I can't be too harsh. I give the characters an 8.
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