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Everything wrong with the Attack on Titan live-action movie

Alright guys, it’s time to get down and dirty on this one. I’m diving straight into it: no intro, no mercy, and smashingly brutal.  

Let’s start off by saying this – any movie based on the original medium is bound to take some liberties with the storyline. In fact, it is usually encouraged. In the case of AOT, there were many significant changes and most, if not all, of them were quite terrifying. Here are a few:

-          Eren and Mikasa have romantic feelings for each other. And this aspect is the main focus of the movie.

-          Levi is not in the film. This is really surprising, as he’s one of the most popular characters in the AOT universe. I know that the new character, Shikishima, is described as “humanity’s strongest” which implies he’s Levi’s substitute. But I don’t consider him as Levi at all; his personality is totally different (not in a good way), he smiles (pervertedly) way too much, he has a little something-something going on with Mikasa *gag*, and get this… He’s NOT short.

-          Mikasa is M-O-E. She is freaking moe. She acts delicate, cutesy, and slightly bimbotic in the first part of the movie. This was too much for me.

Those were the changes I felt very strongly against. There are tons and tons more changes that don’t bode very well either of course, such as how the titan didn’t eat Eren’s mom, the scouting legion hadn’t even existed at the time of the colossal titan’s attack, Christa and Ymir are nowhere to be seen, the titans literally look like your next door neighbours (freakishly human, most are pretty comical), 90% of the scouting legion are excruciatingly inexperienced in anything combat, etc etc.

Also, I can easily summarise the movie for you. Basically, all that happens is that titans keep randomly appearing and the masses and/or scouting legion just scream, die or run for their lives. Someone pass me the aspirin.

Amidst this train wreck, very weird and wholly unnecessary situations keep cropping up. Mikasa playing the piano in some remote area with falling glitter (or whatever the hell that is) and a crystal chandelier, Shikishima feeding Mikasa an apple in a puzzlingly lewd way, Eren getting hit on by a single mother who just out of the blue grabs his hand to press on her boob (it was a nice boob but still) and well, there’s more. But my brain is dying so I need to hurry up with this review.

There are also scenes that not only do nothing to progress the plot in a believable and substantial way, but also make no sense whatsoever.  For example, when setting out to plug the hole in the wall, one of the characters hears a “child” in the vicinity of this Titan-swarmed, abandoned area. This area, by the way, was rampaged by the titans TWO years ago. But this character insists there’s a child who has been left behind and wants to go rescue him. I need a titan-sized facepalm for this display of sheer stupidity.

Still, in spite of all these headache-inducing factors, I feel obligated to add in a couple of good points about the film. I think most of the acting is pretty good. The Eren in the movie is definitely different from the Eren in the manga, but his emotions are still earnest. However, his thirst for revenge has been downplayed a lot. His character doesn’t have that manic passion and element of despair that made his fights in the manga and anime so impactful and perilous. This quality can be extended to the whole film as well. Where’s the sensation of adventure, angst, and adrenaline? The show has been reduced to some B-grade horror and gore flick. And it’s not even entertaining. The producers could have scored some brownie points with the titan fighting scenes and make them really visually exciting. Unfortunately, even those were subpar. Damn, I swore this started out as a good point. Focus, Faelan, focus.

Getting back on track, something else that I liked was the creepy, desolate atmosphere. Throughout the movie, it literally felt like all hope had been lost. When the colossal titan destroyed the wall and the titans came swarming in, the mood felt intensely bleak and heavy. Watching the police fire their cannons at the giants, only to have them revive and continue walking towards them, was almost gut-wrenching because of how pathetic it looked.

The best part of the movie was probably Eren’s transformation. He looked badass. The roar was a little weak, but okay.

In a nutshell, the film’s overly ambitious, yet underwhelmingly uncreative, way of changing the original story’s events led to its demise. Furthermore, I don’t think the producers understand what it means for the majority of ticket-buyers to be fans of the original manga and anime. There are certain plot points and characters that should not be altered because they are very close to the readers’ hearts and make AOT the masterpiece that it is. It’s a pity that the movie was kind of a flop. Besides disappointing existing fans, it also projects the wrong image to potential readers. They’ll be wondering how on earth a story like this managed to become a worldwide bestseller.    

Overall, I didn't have high expectations for the film prior to seeing it, but it still managed to sink even lower than that. Just feed this to the titans.

Written by Faelan

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