8/21/2008

Appleseed Ex Machina

I've been working on some fiction short stories this week (which my perfectionism keeps me working on all day until it's perfect or I get writer's block), so here's a review of the Appleseed movie sequel that I wrote up for Netflix a couple of months ago.


Another amazing Appleseed installment. Don't be fooled by the Netflix description, however. That synopsis makes this movie out to be a romance. While there is a love story there, it doesn't define the film. The movie balances out the romance with plenty of amazing action sequences.

Deunan and Briareos are back to kick some terrorist butt. Following some amazing John Woo action sequences, cyborg Briareos is injured when he saves Deunan from an explosion. While he's in the hospital, Deunan is given a new partner - Tereus, a bioroid created from Briareos' DNA. But not only does Tereus have Briareos' former physical form, he also has his combat style, and his feelings for Deunan. Confronted by her lover's former appearance (down to his birthmark), Deunan becomes confused by her emotions and angry at Olympus' actions to create Tereus without informing her. However there's no time to straighten out her feelings. A former member of Poseidon, Dr. Kestner, is using Project HALCON to hack cyborg brains, and using a popular device called a Connexus to control normal humans. He sets mobs upon Olympus, attempting to exterminate anyone whom he cannot control, in order to create a race united by a single consciousness. He has also infected Briareos with nanomachines that cause him to go into uncontrolled rages. With massive mobs attacking power centers in every country, Briareos struggling against his own virus, and Deunan struggling to save the world and to protect her love, there is plenty in this movie to keep you entertained and your adrenaline pumping.

The animation has taken a sizable leap in quality since the first Appleseed in 2004, and John Woo's hands are all over the amazing action sequences throughout the film. The film is topped off with good voice acting and a good music score. A must see for any anime fan, and fans of Masamune Shirow.

7 comments:

unit-1978 said...

Shirow is awesome, and Ex Machina is a great film. My only gripe would be that its a little Ghost in the Shell'ish and I love the whole hacked zombie cyborgs. Either way, my gripe isnt really a gripe, I have both movies even the orignal and Appleseed has always been a great anime and manga

Kris said...

I enjoyed them both as well. I finally managed a copy of the first film not long ago; I'm sure I'll also pick up Ex Machina eventually.

xJAYMANx said...

@Kris: I won't spoil myself by reading too much, but damn, I still have to catch "Ex Machina"!

Technically speaking, there was a "first" Appleseed OVA way back in 1988, which I barely remember watching. Probably wasn't memorable anyway. But that's about it for now, gotta download "Ex Machina", hehe.

unit-1978 said...

Jay, thats the one I was talking about, when I said original. The animated 2D "cartoon" not the CG ones as of recent. I still love that cartoon, watching it now...it definetly dates itself and looks very old, but its still a great anime. I have to say though after watching Ex Machina, its by far my favorite.

xJAYMANx said...

@U78: Ahhh, I thought u meant the original "Ghost in the Shell", lol. Hmm, maybe I'll revisit that old Appleseed some time, but first, gotta burn "Ex Machina"~ finished downloading it last night! >_<

xJAYMANx said...

Heyyy folks, just finished it! Not bad, but yeah, a bit better than the previous film. The mind-control-zombie motif is a bit old, but a nice mix of Ghost-Shell technology, Star Wars-like cinematic panoramas, Matrix-style Sentinels, Star Trek Borg Queens, even little JFK Jr.'s funeral salute. But of course, can't forget the hot babes; Deunan, Nike and Yoshino (wow, a Kristin Kreuk look-alike, lol) were smokin', lol. Overall, I'd say a slick-and-slammin' portrayal of the Appleseed universe! 4 of 5 stars.

Kris said...

I've seen that 80s one; I mean, not actually seen the film, but seen the title/DVD around. So I don't know how the stories differ. But I really enjoyed both modern CG films quite a bit. Glad you liked it Jay!

Have not gotten to the mangas myself, though I have a friend who is a big Shirow fan. He loves Appleseed.