Thursday, June 18, 2015



So this is going to be a little different than the others...

There's a couple of reasons for this movie review for not looking like the others. First, this movie isn't scheduled for a worldwide release, it's only getting a limited release. Second, because of that a lot of the main movie sites, like the one's I usually take the ratings from, don't have listings or ratings for it yet. In fact, of the two that I usually take from only IMDB has a page for it and here's the ratings for it, 

Ratings: 6.5/10 from 107 users
Reviews: write review | 4 critic

There's also the Wikipedia page for it and of course reviews from Anime related sites like, and the one exception which was Most of the reviews say the same things, share the same sentiments and I'll probably repeat them as well. But, you're probably wondering how come those Anime related sites are the ones reviewing it? Well, this movie and it's previous installment which was released sometime late last year is actually sourced from an Anime which was in turn adapted from a Manga. The Manga was published between 1988 to 1995 and you can read about that here, while the Anime ran from 2014 til spring 2015. I had heard good things about the anime, quite a few websites sing praises about it being one of them. I myself have yet to see a single episode.
This is the parasyte that decided burrowing into an arm was a good option.

So what's this Manga turned Anime turned a two part movie about? The story revolves around Shinichi Izumi (Shota Sometani) a 17 year old boy. What's so special about him? Well, one not so fine evening the world is invaded by parasites which head straight for the human brain via the ear or nose, once in the brain they take over and mutate their host into becoming shape shifting monsters that eat humans. One of these parasites try to get into Shinichi through his ear but unfortunately for this particular little worm he was listening to some mad tunes before falling asleep so instead it decides to burrow into his arm instead. Why not the nose? Who knows, maybe there was too many boogers or he had a stuffed nose or something. Well, now in his arms instead of taking over Shinichi's mind the worm turns his arm into a physical representation of the parasite and has a personality all its own. Also he can shape shift and do some other stuff.  

Now that Shinichi and the parasyte are like siamese twins the other parasytes don't like them so much and consider him a threat. Also Shinichi doesn't like them either so much especially since they went and killed his mother. So hybrid human-parasyte goes on a one man hunting spree taking out the bad parasytes that are going out killing humans every time they feel like the munchies. 

She's one of the leaders of the invading parasytes and she's decided having a baby is a good idea to learn about being human. I'd say watching a lot of TV helps too. 

At the top of the parasyte pyramid of power are of course the boss parasytes. Parasytes that have managed to either infect influential people or those that have weaseled their way into positions of power. They don't like Shinichi but can't do much as one powerful parasyte by the name of Ryoko Tamiya (Eri Fukatsu) has decided that she'd like to observe him as part of her experiments and observations of humans in order for the parasyte to be able to live among humans better. Of course in the end she doesn't get her way and is killed. 

As with most anime there is a love interest and the protagonist does triumph in the end after beating the boss of the bad guys but also typical of anime is the many monologue that point out how screwed up humanity has become and how the bad guys are just trying to make things better but are misunderstood. It's actually all very typical if you've seen enough anime. 

One of these guys is a human and the other a 5-in-1 parasyte but both are bad guys. Guess which one is human? 

Anyway, what did I think about it? Well, not seeing the first part I guess does make a difference since this second installment jumps right in to continue the story from the first. There is a short re-cap of events that happened in the first but it's more of a refresher if you've seen the first instead of a decent introduction if you've never seen the first. You'd expect me to say that I felt lost or that I couldn't follow with what happens but you'd be wrong. I guess I have seen enough anime to know what happened, sort of. 

So the story. Well, it's pretty typical of the genre. In fact, stereotypical. I don't know how else to say it. Like I said if you've seen enough anime you'll know what I'm talking about. There's really nothing surprising or new with regards to the story. What was not typical was how incredible dull and somewhat monotonous it was. Here's a movie with parasites that turn humans into shape shifting monsters and there's a fair bit of gory and bloody scenes but it didn't change the mood of the movie even once for me. I have no idea why. There was no tension for me not even the slightest bit of drama. I was sort of bored. Which probably says something about how the actors performed. Not that they were bad, but it was basically par for the course when it comes to Japanese movies of the genre. It's sort of like watching shows like the Power Rangers or something like it. No matter when the show was made it always looked sort of the same and the acting was pretty much the same as well. 

Notice how she's sort of covered in blood? Yeah, she's getting killed but there's this long monologue about how they're just misunderstood. 

The only really sort of impressive thing about this movie was the special effects. I've seen my fair share of Japanese sci-fi movies and the one thing that always seemed to disappoint or come a little short was their special effects. The CGI work in quite a number of Japanese sci-fi movies tend to look amateurish, unpolished and because of how bad it looked it sort of ruins the whole feel and look of the movie. But this one I have to say I was impressed. It looks very good. But you get so little of it that again it sort of ruins the whole movie. Instead you get a lot of normal looking humans trying to act odd in order to differentiate themselves from normal humans. Which of course makes the whole thing about the police trying to find out which humans were normal and which weren't a bit stupid. If you watch this movie you'll sort of get what I'm saying.

So what did I think about this movie? Not much to be honest. Like I said I was sort of bored while watching it. The story is a bit to typical of the genre regardless of whether the genre happens to be anime or Japanese sci-fi. The acting was just run of the mill nothing really special. Honestly, the only people that should actually watch this movie are fans of the Manga or Anime who have seen the first installment. If you're not one of those or if you haven't seen the first movie I'd suggest you go watch something else. Even if you're thinking that you're going to get a few thrills from the scary parts you'd be disappointed. 

I can only give this movie a 2 out of 5 but only because the special effects were the best I've seen for a Japanese movie that I've seen in a very, very long time. 


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:01 pm

    Wow what a vague review. There are so many sentences in this post but all could be summed up in two words: boring, typical.
    Yes I get it and I agree that this film is quite lackluster but I think it would've been better if you at least try to compare this with other anime turned live action movies so that people could get an idea of what you actually mean.
    "The acting was just run of the mill nothing really special." -- This movie is salvaged by the cast. The fact that Shinichi transformed from ordinary,sorta geeky student to glint-eyed fighter in such quick progression and making the audience convinced that he is actually communicating with his right hand when in fact he's alone the entire time; Shota Sometani's performance alone is already praiseworthy. The supporting cast is no joke as well. Hirofumi Arai, Nao Omori and Tadanobu Asano. You might want to check out their filmography first before carelessly writing about their performance.