A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Appleseed: Ex Machina

April 9, 2011

Appleseed: Ex Machina

This movie addresses just about every problem I had with the first one. It doesn’t have to do any of the world building, so it isn’t packed with exposition. The story isn’t particularly revolutionary (I commented to Amanda as we watched it that I had just watched a Doctor Who episode with almost exactly the same plot.) It doesn’t try to be anything except a fun futuristic action story, and it’s kind of a relief.

The biggest improvement this movie makes on the one we watched yesterday is that it feels so much less ambitious. It might seem counter-intuitive that a simpler film would be more enjoyable but it’s almost relaxing to be able to simply take in the visual spectacle and not have to use my brain at all. Instead of trying to encompass the entire world of Appleseed in a single film this movie has the feeling of being simply an episode in the lives of Deunan and Briareos. Since Appleseed as a manga has a very episodic feel to it this ends up feeling quite appropriate.

At the start of this movie Deunan and Briareos are still working for eSWAT – the paramilitary police force that defends the peace of the Utopian city state of Olympus. They and their elite squad have been dealing with a recent surge in terrorist attacks which appear to be perpetrated almost exclusively by cyborgs. During the opening action scene Briareos is injured and so Duenan is assigned a new partner. This partner, Tereus is a bioroid engineered primarily from Briareos’ DNA, which means he’s a dead ringer for Briareos before he lost his original body. This is upsetting and confusing to Deunan; it’s like a ghost from her past.

Of course the whole Deunan/Briareos/Tereus triangle is just a distraction from the main plot. The central plot revolves around a scheme to use the unified satellites of all the remaining countries on Earth to turn the populace of the world into mindless zombies. It starts with just taking over cyborgs (which is a concern to Briareos since he’s having a lot of insecurity about his cyborg state) but soon it spreads to the general populace by means of little PDA earbuds.

I don’t think there’s an original idea in this entire movie, and do you know what? I don’t care. It’s full of gorgeous animation, cool action and involves Deunan being a hot-headed and unstoppable kickass killing machine. It’s just great fun watching here and Briareos working together against all odds. The world of Appleseed, even when simplified for the cinema, is such a rich and cool one that it’s just fun to visit it again. I love the futuristic tech. The landmate walking armor. The big hulking cyborgs. All the floating cars and hovering personnel carriers. It’s a world that seems designed to capture the imagination of the fifteen-year-old kid inside of me, and it works. This movie is exactly the stupid light-weight explody action movie I needed tonight.

April 9, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , , ,

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