"Akira" made IMDb's Top 250 list way back in 1998 and hasn't been back since, although I see it now popping in and out of the rankings for the current year (2018). I'm not an anime fan, or even a fan of animated movies in general, though there are a handful that I've liked well enough. With this film, I'm left entirely in limbo. When something like this occurs, I'll check out the FAQ page for the movie here on IMDb and try to gain some understanding, along with a handful of the more accomplished reviews for the picture. It didn't surprise me that to get a better grip on the story, one would be well advised to read the two thousand plus manga treatment of Akira by the writer, and this film's director, Katsuhiro Ôtomo. I can guarantee that's not going to happen, so what I'm left with as regards the film is a lukewarm acceptance that it's been a very influential work in the genre, while leaving me entirely unimpressed. All I got out of it was an endless series of violence, destruction, explosions and fighting, and though I followed the characters of Kaneda and Tetsuo well enough, there wasn't the least bit of story line that had an appeal for this viewer. Nor were the characters even likeable to any degree, so that was another check in the minus column. So rather than bashing the film, I'll just consider my viewing another in a long list of movies I've watched to get a broader perspective of what's out there and know that I'm not missing anything. All films can't appeal to everyone.
On 16 July 1988, a nuclear blast levels Tokyo. Now it's 31 years later after the end of WWIII. Kaneda is a bike gang leader in a dystopian Tokyo. Kaneda's best friend Tetsuo runs into Takashi who escaped from a secret government laboratory. There is a dissident anti-government organization. Meanwhile military scientists is experimenting on supernatural powers.While the style is ground breaking, I would have wanted a clearer story with a more prominent main character. The movie should really follow Tetsuo and let him discover the secrets for us. Instead we keep switching to the bad guys who tells us everything. It's a pretty good story with an impressive imaginative style.
Dwelling on period details, Living feels distant from the textures of today's fast-paced, Brexit-battered, multicultural London where a 2022 Mr. Williams might well be of East Asian or Caribbean descent. The messiness of life never busts in. As with too many British dramas, the action takes place in a safely-stylized England, a museum diorama in which even life and death can't really touch us. Low-key and muted, Hermanus' direction doesn't catch the desperation and sadness that gave Kurosawa's original film its emotional power, especially in its transcendent finale set in the snow, one of the most beautiful and moving climaxes in movie history.
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