Friday, 19 August 2011

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Gantz: Perfect Answer [Review]


Opinion: B-

Once you look past the teenage eye candy that is in abundance, you realise that intrigue and mystery is a trademark of this franchise and thus there will never be a perfect answer to every question in mind. Some of the burning queries pertaining to the plot and the characters are not tended to, which derives at a possibility of an imminent third installment. That said, Gantz: Perfect Answer does display a couple of spectacular action set pieces that heightens its entertainment value by several notches.


Kato's death changes Kurono's view of life completely. He decides to keep fighting until he earns 100 points so that he can bring back Kato. GANTZ calls back Ayukawa (Ayumi Ito) and other GANTZ alumni who'd left once after scoring 100 points. In the meantime Kurono works on getting 100 points. But before Kurono succeeds in resurrecting Kato, Kato unexpectedly turns up.

Another strange man (Takayuki Yamada) appears and he appears to be investigating GANTZ and the fighters while the fighters take on the most terrible enemy (Go Ayano). To complicate the situation, GANTZ starts acting up. GANTZ chooses the next target... this time it's not an alien but a human girl, Tae, who is in love with Kurono.

Some GANTZ members go after Tae to score points while Kurono tries to protect her. In turn, Tae tries to protect Kurono who fights for her. A love story between their characters blossoms and Kurono must stop his teammates from getting to Tae.

Each teammate has a different motive for fighting, whether to protect a loved one or to do what they think is right. Whatever their cause, they end up sacrificing something important...

Finally they have to make a fatal decision... to fight each other to death! This is the ultimate choice given to them in extreme circumstances. As the world awaits its conclusion, GANTZ unveils its secret.


For the record, I've viewed both installments of Gantz without reading any of the manga series that it's adapted upon.

Without any prior in-depth fan-based knowledge of the story and its characters, Gantz proves to be a challenging film to sit through (which I've shared previously here) although the patience demanded of us did payoff towards the end with a fascinating National Museum battle against the Thousand Arm Alien. In my opinion, that was the true highlight of the film that not only entertains but also indicated the infinite manga imagination realm of creativity.

Likewise, the second installment treads on in a strong premise of mystery and intrigue with the aid of some non-linear chronological editing that allows Gantz: Perfect Answer (let's call it Gantz 2 for short) to present new characters to further thicken the plot.

With new characters come new plot holes to elaborate, which is a lethal double-edged sword.

You might either view the new characters as a mean to instill plot sophistication or an excuse to present diabetic adolescent eye-candy. In the case of the nameless detective character played by Takayuki Tamada (of 13 Assassins and Crows Zero fame), his limited role resembles that of a futile cameo and is a pure waste of the vastly promising talents of Takayuki.

Either way, there are seen as mere superficial production value-addition.

Far worse, their presence minutely contributed to a lesser focus on the two male leads Kurono and, to a greater extent, Kato. With a softer focus on most characters, the emotional attachment is diminished as a result. Some of the demise scenes might have worked its magic in attempt to jerk tears out of some of the audience members (most likely melodrama genre fans), but eventually the unfortunate demise has to be there for a greater purpose.

That greater purpose is somewhat, vaguely uncertain to me.

There is a theme revolving around violence and what derives out of it but it was not reassuring and the theme itself wasn't elaborated further, only to be left to the audience as what could presumably be food for thought. Likewise, the origins to the characters and the story are left untouched, while the film's story direction took off in a different one as to that of the manga series. This is indeed insatiable for both the fans of the film and manga series.

It could mean that a third installment possibility is likely despite hearing no news of any plans from the producers.

All aside, there is a fascinating action scene taking place within a Tokyo subway train and that's where Gantz 2 generates return on your ticket value. The subway scene is also a plot convergence point where all the mystery built up prior gets resolved without the need of further dialogue and drama.

It doesn't just converge plot pieces, the action also reveals certain hidden traits and revelation of some of the characters, which is why this subway mid-film scene is a critical one that is worthy of highlight. There is also another three man duel on a Tokyo main street fueled by Samurai sword clashings and pulse gun explosions, which should whip the appetite of action fans.

Indeed, the Gantz saga isn't as brilliant as the highly compared Death Note saga. What Gantz lacks in depth and conclusion is adequately compensated with its blockbuster entertainment values.

If you're only interested in what Gantz (the big black orb) is exactly, this will surely disappoint you.


2 comments:

  1. OMG, I totally hated the first movie, and there's no way I'm going to waste another 2h of my life to see the sequel.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Nebular Haha! Yes George, I believe this will be a fans-only film ;) Thanks for the prompt comment, that was fast! :D

    ReplyDelete

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