Gantz (Movie Review)

Today I will be talking about the live action film Gantz, which is directed by Shinsuke Sato, who also was one of the producers behind the live action Death Note film.

The story focuses around two high school boys, the protagonist Kei Kurono and his childhood friend Masura Kato who are hit by a speeding subway train and somehow end up in an apartment room with several other people and a large black ball that is known as “Gantz”. The people are sent on various hunts for “Aliens” by Gantz, whilst not actually being told why. This enables the audience to wonder what the ultimate reason is. In these hunts the character's lives are on the line as they begin to fight with superhuman strength and almost undefeatable enemies.

The content of Gantz is really quite graphic with several people getting their limbs savagely ripped from torsos with a large amount of blood pouring out. This really does live up to the stereotype of Hong Kong horror which uses excessive amounts of gore for almost no reason. The special effects are some of the best I have ever seen, well, second to Men In Black 3, these special effects really shine when watching the movie on Blu-ray on a widescreen TV, especially the scene where the characters are transported to each location by teleportation. That scene in particular raises the question, are they still the real  them after being teleported?

However there are only a few issues with the film that I find distasteful but otherwise don’t ruin the film for me, these include the fact that because it is a far eastern film none of the characters can speak English which means that there won’t be a dub out anytime soon and I have to be content with reading subtitles in high definition Blu-ray. The second thing is that, Gantz is based on a manga which was longer and more drawn out in order to create suspense, however because you can't make a film too long, everything is way too fast in comparison. Usually I would have no quarrel with that, however, the story of Gantz is not just told over one film and there is actually a sequel called Gantz: Perfect Answer. If they were going to make it so well and spread it over two films, why not slow it down and give some of the raw emotion and depth that the manga and the anime dealt with? I wouldn't even have cared if it meant that there would be several films, as I would have brought them! Gantz is like the rebuild of Evangelion, because its on the same level in terms of psychological drowning but less about the philosophical aspect.

In conclusion, the film is pretty well constructed and is pretty realistic as the actions that the characters chose to make are pretty believable and probably what any person would do if they found themselves in this type of situation. One final note is that the actors weren’t very good at the kind of facial expressions that would have brought a greater layer of emotion to the film, but its not their fault! It’s most likely their drama instructors who are probably masters in the art of Noh Theater, and if you know what I’m talking about, I salute you!

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