Space Battleship Yamato Ė The effects in this sci-fi blockbuster were impressive but the bland story and characters made it tiring to watch. The main problem is that it lacked the adventure of space travel shown in the trailers. The reason for this is mainly due to every aspect of the movie being played so seriously; the music, the characters, the plot, and so on. This would have been all well and good if there were well developed characters with an edgy plot line but all we got were characters you couldnít care less about and predictable melodramatic scenes which everyone overacted in. Add to that some absolutely ridiculous plot inconsistencies along with absurd decision making by the main characters and it just doesnít work. It was also a shame that whilst the ship looked visually impressive on the outside the interior never quite managed to live up to the same standards; it was all a bit too small and you felt like there were only 15 people on the thing.
Overall this isnít a complete write off as there were times when I was truly getting into it but those moments were few and far between. Maybe it would have been better if they injected some fun into the plot, at least then you could gloss over all the other shortcomings.
The Message Ė This is more like it, itís a thriller about a resistance mole who intercepts enemy messages in order to gain intelligence to carry out assassination attempts. After catching wind of this the Japanese-controlled government rounds up a group of people who handle the messages in an attempt to find the mole. Iíve got to say I really liked this one. I found the characters were are all interesting, each having imperfect traits and seemingly working to their own agenda, making them all believable. The identity of the mole isnít revealed until way into the second half of the film which keeps you (kind of) guessing. The cast all do a terrific job and as always Xun Zhou, who is quickly becoming my favourite actress, excels.
In the end I found this to be a well-presented intelligent thriller which manages to surprise from beginning to end.
"Itís hard to tell that the world we live in is either a reality or a dream."