Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva (Reiton ky˘ju to eien no utahime) Reviews
A known fact among gamers and film buffs. is that videogame movies are pretty much dead on arrival. For whatever reason good stories just can't be made out of them. Videogame developer Level-5 made this film based on their characters, can they give their own character justice or will it all be ruined like so many that have tried before.
The animation here is really cute and while not the most amazing, it's hard to watch without even the slightest smile. It's animated exactly like the cutscenes within the game, which will be very comforting for it's fans. As far as Japanese animated films go, it may not be in Miyazaki's standards but it will be nice to just look at an animated film from Japan that has a style different from the norm.
The film's score is very similar to the game which is a lot of fun to hear whether one is a fan or not. The only problem in this is what is not from the game will sound a bit boring and more forgettable. This film still uses a good amount of the game's music to move along though, which is more than most videogame films can say.
Leading the film is voice actor Christopher Robin Miller (who also voices the character in the game) as Professor Hershel Layton, an avid puzzle solver from London, who is so good he's often put in a situation where he comes off as a detective (though he claims he's not, he just is that good at solving puzzles); what's fun about the character is that he's never really fazed all that much, it's almost like his perfect(but not boring) almost like watching an animated MacGyver just a bit more fun for everyone. Sidekick Luke Triton voiced by Maria Darling (same for the games), is Layton's young "Apprentice number one" as Luke refers to himself as, learning how to be a gentleman while becoming a great puzzle solver, he is cheerful and provides relief without being a snarky kid who's to smart for the adults like most family (children) movies today try to do, it really makes him fun to watch as a sidekick. On the other end of assistants comes Emma Tate as Emmy Altava an adult heroine who provides a bit of competition for Luke; she goes off on her own early on to solve a case on kidnapped children, that later goes much deeper with the main plot. Emma Tate also voices Janice, a famed opera singer who requested Layton to assist her in an odd occurrence. The rest of the cast does a fine job, but to go more into them might ruin some of the film's surprises. The opening though contains few tidbits for the fans to enjoy as favorite characters from the games make small cameos including rival Don Paolo, Inspector Chelmey and Flora Reinhold.
Professor Layton has solved many cases, but when a deadly game with the prize of Eternal Life comes he must solve the case before it's all to late. The film provides a fun adventure feel, all while making the audience think about the challenges the characters come across with ( can you figure out whats the oldest thing you can see before they do? or would you have failed so early and meet certain doom) it provides a lot of interest in the mystery of it all. The final act of the film provides multiple plot twists in a single scene, it'd probably leave someone like M. Night dumbfounded, which unlike his most recent films this film has some good and smart twists. The adventure starts and never slows down, always making it fun to see how far these characters will go.
Say what you will for other videogame films but "Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva" is a must watch not only for gamers, not only for animation fans, not only for mystery fans, but everyone.