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Metropolis is one of the most spectacular animated films ever made. Nothing short of a visual and technological masterpiece, the film seems to have been unjustly forgotten since its release, however, overshadowed by Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away, which was released the year after. Loosely based on an early manga created by the legendary Osamu Tezuka (best known for creating Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion), the film is a fascinating story that balances many complex and thought-provoking themes, such as political corruption, class struggle, the dangers of fascism, the relationship between man and technology, and, perhaps most importantly, the question of what exactly makes one "human?" The animation is some of the finest ever seen in an animated film. The fluidity of the characters' movement puts the best of Ghibli's work to shame, and at times rivals even Disney. At the same time the film makes heavy use of computer graphics, which haven't quite aged as well as the 2D animation, but were groundbreaking at the time. However, the film's visuals are precisely why it falls just short of "great movie" territory. The visuals too often overshadow the plot, and the character relationships and plot elements simply aren't developed enough to make quite the emotional impact the creators had undoubtedly hoped for, particularly at the film's climax. That being said, Metropolis is a tragically overlooked film that is a must-see for any lover of animated cinema.
While confusing in the beginning, if you pay attention and last through the full experience, Metropolis culminates into one of the best and most emotional stories I've seen in any animated film. You'll be treated to a wonderfully drawn world that feels alive every step of the way, with old-timey music that is unlike any other film in it's genre. Astute viewers will understand more than just the plot, however. Indeed, Metropolis delivers a powerful and deeply thought out message commenting on the human nature, and what we consider to be worth calling human, or indeed, if that is even a question one should ask. It provokes thought about segregation that is happening even in today's society, where this is thought to have been eliminated long ago. Metropolis is an incredible achievement for animated film, and film in general. This is one movie that, if you call yourself a fan of the genre it belongs to, you have no choice but to see it.
Although very rough in character designs, Metropolis otherwise features fantastic animation, especially when it comes to stupendous architecture, an interesting color palette and it is overall quite polished. The old-fashioned score is also wonderful, and the film has great direction and dialogue. However, the emotional connection is non-existent, the characters are just solid, and the story is far from memorable and never as thematically complex as the original 1927 classic upon which this one is only loosely based on.
Overall plot was interesting and the story was mostly well-focused. The only thing I guess would be more character development from some characters, especially Tima. So there were times where I always felt they could do more scenes in terms of backstories for certain characters, as it's a movie, so I need to know them better. Ending felt hanging in the clouds sometimes, which is another thing that deducted my rating a bit.
A masterpiece of animation. A true hidden gem.
Superb adaptation of Osama Tezuka's classic graphic novel in that it takes liberties from the original story, making it a true cinematic experience while staying true to the spirit. The vocal cast is superb across the board while the filmmakers deliver one of the best animated movies in recent years. Director, Rintaro, and writer Katshuhiro Otomo expertly adapt Tezuka's novel, keeping the themes but making changes needed to condense it into a 2 hours movie (something Otomo brilliantly did with his own "Akira"). Some characters are even added, despite fitting in perfectly (Rock is a notable example). The story remains the same, using robots and humans as a nice metaphor for bigotry, showing robots acting more humane than humans even in the worse times. The animation is brilliant as well, with a seamless mix of CGI background and hand drawn cells. Overall, one of the best animated movies in years and a true tribute to Tezuka's classic graphic novel.
METROPOLIS is one of those anime films that literally sucks you right into the story. You immediately feel like you're a part of the world, connecting with the character's emotions, and brilliant screenplay from Katsuhiro Otomo (AKIRA).
One of the most visually appealing animated films I have ever seen.
Disclaimer: I did not see Fritz Lang's original film or read the manga. So that may affect my review.
Metropolis is a compelling story that mirrors the biblical tale of the Tower of Babel. Man's ambition leads to its own (near) demise. The story also revolves around the class struggle between the middle (people) and working-class (robots). As the story progresses, the audience explores the city with the main characters. And like the city itself, the story is layered with lots of deeper meaning. The mood is full of awe and child-like throughout.
With all the storytelling, there are the visuals. And this film takes its time to show incredible shots of the city. There are details in every person, movement, and action. Not to mention the Art Deco heavy design of the buildings which hark back to 1920's vision of the future. This is a film that MUST be seen in full HD+ to be appreciated.
The music also takes a nice twist on other films of the time. The producers make some interesting -- and well appreciated -- choices by adding NOLA-style jazz. There's something unique with the choice of music that adds even more enjoyment into the film.
This is a film that can be studied many times over and still yield new findings. There's a story of love, of class struggle, the rise (and fall) of fascist idealism, among many others. And the visuals and music alone make this a perfect film to visit and revisit time and time again.
4.5 or 5/5. A well thought out film that leaves nothing to chance. A visual and cinematic masterpiece. Instant classic and must watch.
In order to appreciate the beauty of this film you need to watch it on the big screen, its animation and breathtaking. I loved it the first time I saw it, but it is not a movie you can re-watch. While the animation is beautiful, the style of the animation jars. This is a serious movie about serious topics, but the characters are drawn in a manner similar to astro boy. This is not surprising considering the producer, but on a 2nd watching its something you begin the notice. The lack of dialog is also an issue for the 2nd watching, although this is not an issue when you watch this for the first time. I class this as a must watch, but you may find you cannot come back to it for a 2nd viewing without spoiling your first impressions of the movie.
Gushing with iconic cartoony style and an old-fashioned (for better or worse) steam-punk story with an emotionally stinging finale, this anime holds its own in the history of the medium as an examination of humanity in a future context, as well as a love letter to sci-fi films of old.