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The Strange Things Boutique




DVD . Manga Entertainment.

Gantz: Perfect AnswerComing to Gantz: Perfect Answer without having seen the first film in this live-action version of the popular manga series is rather like stumbling into a particularly convoluted TV show mid-season; while a capsule summary of the story so far at the start might fill in one or two gaps, you’ll still find yourself fairly bewildered by a lot that goes on, as characters who seemingly have significant back stories pop up without explanation, relationships remain vague, characters hard to pin down and answers given for questions you haven’t asked. In short, it’s an often-frustrating experience.

Gantz is a huge black orb that somehow revives the dead and reinvents them as leather-clad cyber warriors who are battling some sort of alien invasion. Each fighter earns points per battle, and when they reach 100, they can choose to either be returned to life with their memories wiped or to resurrect a fallen comrade. The film’s hero Kurono (Ninomiya Kazunari) is determined to bring back his best friend Kato (Matsuyama Kenichi), but strangely, Kato already seems to be alive, and fighting for the aliens, who are hell-bent of revenge for the deaths of their colleagues.

All this plays out, with assorted subplots, for almost two hours and twenty minutes – which is at least twenty minutes too long. There’s a slow build for the first half hour or so that probably works for people who have been following the story so far, but the film eventually picks up pace with a handful of pretty spectacular, violent action-set-pieces, the most impressive being a shootout on a subway train. This is as ferocious, fast and exciting as any action movie you’ve seen, and surprisingly brutal too, with civilians being mowed down left, right and centre. As a counterbalance to the spectacular action, the final scenes are awash with cloying sentimentality and could benefit from some ruthless editing, quite frankly.

If you were to simply allow the story to wash over you and enjoy the action scenes, this might well satisfy. However, watching it without the back-story is oft-times frustrating. As this film is available as both a stand-alone edition and in a double pack with the first film, I’d suggest anyone curious checks out the latter edition (unless you’ve already seen part one of course). There’s a lot to enjoy here, and having the full story should be enough to deal with the story issues that prevent me from wholeheartedly recommending this.






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