REVIEW: Attack On Titan (Part One)

Despite burning through a lot of material, Part One of the live action Attack on Titan movie somehow manages to feel too slow.

Admittedly, my knowledge of Attack on Titan is still mostly second hand (Although I did basically know the plot points to expect going in). In my defense, this movie was made as a separate adaptation of the manga, before the anime became the biggest thing, so it’s not just a fan-service vehicle for fans of the anime. It’s trying to be it’s own thing. Maybe that’s the problem? I dunno, maybe I don’t get it, but I really just think that this movie isn’t great.

The biggest issue is pacing. Scenes drag on for what feels like forever, to no end. No one has any charisma, and I just don’t care about them so that’s an issue. In theory there’s a lot of story being covered here, but I was always struck with the feeling of “get on with it.” The moments of downtime don’t sufficiently build any kind of normalcy to contrast with action, or provide compelling character moments. I assume there are moments here that worked in a different instance of this work, but I don’t think they work here at least.

None of that actually matters THAT much though. The draw here is the action, specifically the live action Titans themselves. They look pretty great (Although the movie’s reliance on CGI blood diminishes that spectacle for me). They’re the draw, the reason to see this thing, and the reason I felt the movie was still worth my time, despite all my complaints.

Unfortunately, the other part of AoT’s spectacle, the fast paced wire work action, doesn’t look so great. The obvious composite shots and blue screening result in a product that just looks fake. It’s a real shame because it diminishes the spectacle significantly in the latter half of the movie, and the spectacle is what’s worthwhile.

I thought this movie was fine. And I liked it enough to want to see part two, but I can’t say this is a must see for anyone. Just check out some clips of the live action Titans and decide if you need to see more of that.