I know “Attack on Titan” is a massively successful, and popular, manga and anime series. However, I still haven’t read the manga or seen the anime. But that didn’t stop me fromw watching 2015’s live-action “Attack on Titan: Part 1.”
So what did I think?
Well, let me put it this way:With the exception of one character, by the end of “Attack on Titan: Part 1,” I pretty much rooting for the ugly, bumbling, flesh-eating titans. Had the titans eaten every member of the Survey Corps, I would have been a-okay with that.
At least that would have been more fun to watch than all the boring conversations and awkward drama this movie has. If the filmmakers goal was to make me care about these characters, they failed miserably.
“Attack on Titan: Part 1,” begins one hundred years after the Titans suddenly appeared and decimated most of humanity. To stop their advance, humanity built walls and lived peacefully there for another century.
In the present day, Eren Yeager expresses to his friends, Armin Arlert and Mikasa Ackerman, his desire to leave the Walls and see the outside world. But on that same day, the mindless Titans attack humanity’s last stronghold, destroying an entire city, and killing the families of our lead characters. After the attack, Eren joins the Survey Corps to fight the titans to get revenge for his loved ones and to take back the city.
Mikasa is Eren’s best friend, and she’s a cowering, pouty girl who at first is primarily serving as a love interest for the two male leads. Her character improves somewhat later in the movie, but from I’ve read since seeing the movie, this version is a far cry from the badass Mikasa you see in the original source material.
Then there’s Armin, who rounds out the three leads. I’d tell you something he did in the movie, but I honestly can’t remember anything. The rest of the supporting cast is filled with stereotypes: a mother is motherly, one can’t stop eating, one dies as soon as we find out she had a kid, and the cool guy is, I guess, cool.
The remainder of the cast is dead weight. Even the trained soldiers are often just standing around whimpering in fear and waiting for the titans to eat them. And of course there are the two “super fighters” who can easily slay titans with swords and jet packs, and they make the other characters look even worse.
Nearly all of the conversations between characters feel awkward and forced. Had it happened once or twice it would be fine, but most of the movie unfolds in conversation. Making thins worse, the camera often lingers on people’s blank stares or empty spaces for too long.
This unfortunately carries over to the film’s action scenes, which is really a shame, since this movie’s saving best thing is the titans themselves. The titans are scary, disgusting, deformed creatures that exist only to eat humans.
The special effects (including miniatures) work well, and look damn good for the most part. There’s plenty of gore in this movie, especially when you see the titans munching down on a few humans. Yeah, some of it is pretty gross, but I think it was necessary to show how monstrous these creatures are.
For me, the film’s score was one of the worst parts of watching this movie. In once scene the music sounds like an Irish ballad, then it suddenly goes techno. And during some battles, the music goes full opera on you. These shifts in music took me out of the movie several times.
What pisses me off the most is that there is a good movie in here somewhere. The concept is solid, the special effects are surprisingly good, but the writing and acting needed major upgrades. The gruesome titans are the movie’s only saving grace, but even they’re not enough to save “”Attack on Titan: Part 1” from being a cheesy B movie.
“Attack on Titan: Part 1” final score: 5