Directed By: Shinsuke Sato
When I say the title of this movie, Gantz, you may have no idea what the hell I am talking about. Up until yesterday, if you had said the name to me, I’d not know what the hell you were talking about either. But Gantz isn’t just the name of a movie, it’s the name of a manga and anime series of the same name to which this film was based off of. So, in a way, this is kinda like what happens here when we have comic books be made into live action films. Only in this case, it really delivers in an effective manner that so little of our American ones do. So not only do we have a live action manga on our hands here. We have a film that is by far one of the best films we have seen in the year 2011.
After trying to rescue a man on the subway tracks, two teens wake up in a room dominated by a mysterious black sphere that sends them to hunt down and kill aliens hiding on Earth. Along the way our characters learn more and more about this new job they have protecting Earth. They also learn a lot about themselves as well. For a movie that’s around two hours long, this is one film that you won’t mind the time at all. It’s really THAT awesome.
Gantz isn’t at all a kids movie. There is far too much violence for that. But it’s one of those rare movies that comes along that is just so much fun that it makes the adult watching almost feel like a kid again. Mixing action, horror, and science fiction together, Gantz sets a new standard for fun loving film makers, who have a cool source of material to work with. And here we see a manga come alive on screen in a way that is very rare for us here in America, when we bring comics to life on our screens. I checked out a few Gantz mangas after seeing this movie, and it appears to be very true to the source. And that’s never a bad thing.
Most movies like this seem to have a very typical and by the book way to which they work. This is anything but typical. This is a breath of fresh air that is both creative and very interesting. As a matter of fact, if you’ve not read the mangas or seen the anime series, then I say SKIP them and watch this first. What that does is allow the mystery of what’s going on early in the film really be used to it’s full effect. You learn about this crazy new thing as our characters do and it really helps set the tone, build the anticipation, and help us relate in a lot of ways to the people we are watching on screen. What you end up with is a wild ride that barely has any dragging in it. And comes with one of the best third acts I’ve seen in a very long time.
And speaking of that, you have to first see that the film sets a really great table. Humor, blood, aliens, drama, it’s all here in spades. It’s sorta like a new Ghostbusters, only way more mature and bloody. And also, it has aliens instead of ghosts (duh!). One of the best ways to do a film like this is to set up a roadblock for the characters that comes across as impossible to get around. That’s the third act of this film. A situation so grave in areas that it even makes you just shake your head and want to toss in the towel while watching. And you want to do this because you just see no way our heroes can prevail. That my friends, is an awesome story and that’s just what you get with Gantz, it’s a must watch if there ever was one.
This film was released here in the states in August of this year. And you should all do yourselves a favor and go pick this thing up now. Over in Japan, there was a sequel released the very same year as this, with this coming in January and the sequel coming in August (same time we just got the first one). At the time of writing this, I can’t yet tell you how the second one is. But I can tell you you’ll want to see both to complete a much bigger story.
The Rating (9/10)