After watching part one of the Attack on Titan live action movie I was not looking forward to seeing the second part.
And, I am to sorry to say, my concerns were correct because part two is, not only terrible but somehow worse than the first pat.
Attack on Titan: End of the World is an absolute mess from start to finish.
Directed once again by Shinji Higuchi, the film picks up with a ten minute recap of part one, which goes on for way too long.
After this, the movie opens up with Eren (Haruma Miura) having a flashback to his father giving him an injection that supposedly gives him the ability to turn into a Titan.
This really should have been set up in the first movie so Eren transforming into a Titan did not come completely out of the blue.
Worst of all, however, Eren’s mother shows up in this scene.
If she was a part of the story then why did the director not just have her die in the first film?
This would have given Eren the motivation to fight the Titans instead of the weak reasoning we got in the first film.
Anyway, this scene sets up multiple questions for the film to answer.
Why was Eren’s father testing the Titan ability on his son, how did he create this ability, what happened to Eren’s mother and father, who is Eren’s older brother they are talking about?
These are just some of the many questions that are set up in this scene and the movie answers none of them.
If this had been in the anime it would have been acceptable because we know the answers are coming but this movie does not look like it is getting a sequel, even though it has an incredibly confusing end credit sequence.
So if we are going to get answers what was the point of setting these questions up?
Sadly, the movie does not get better from here.
The story comes across as very contrived and also extremely rushed.
The first part definitely moved through the story at a very fast pace but in this film they took it a step further by giving the story no time to breath.
Even the individual scenes were bad.
This movie “tried” to explain the truth behind the Titans and Titan Shifters but failed miserably.
I really hope this is not the explanation we get in the manga and anime because it made absolutely no sense.
The entire scene where they explained the Titans origins was the worst in the entire movie because of how confusing it was.
In one shot Eren and Captain Shikishima (Hiroki Hasegawa) are watching footage of Titans being created and then the shot cuts back to them and they are suddenly sitting on beach chairs in the sand with no explanation as to where the chairs or sand came from.
And why was The End of the World song by Skeeter Davis playing during this scene?
Was it just so they could put End of the World in the title?
I have no idea what was going through the writer’s head when he wrote this scene.
What made this situation worse was the acting, which was once again terrible.
Just like in part one, Miura gives a terrible performance as Eren.
Someone just as bad as him though is Hasegawa, as Captain Shikashima, who laughed way too much in this film.
It felt like he laughed after every line of dialogue.
The other characters were also very badly handled again.
Armin (Kanata Hongo) is completely useless, just like he was in part one, and Mikasa (Kiko Mizuhara) is made to be a victim who does not care about Eren at all.
Then there were the characters created solely for the films, who are just as bad, with one character Sannagani (Satoru Matsuo) having amazingly stupid levels of strength in both parts.
The color palette was also pretty bad in this movie, although not as bad as the first one so that was something.
What was worse in this part, however, was the special effects, which are some of the worst I have ever seen put to film.
The Microsoft Paint blood effects are back and the scenes where characters turn into Titans are laughably atrocious.
I know Japanese film companies do not have the big budgets of Hollywood blockbusters when it comes to CGI but this was just embarrassing.
Speaking of the Titans, they are a non-existent threat in this movie.
One of the few things the first film got right was the Titans who were very creepy, with the first shot of them giving me goosebumps.
Here though, with the exception of the Titan Shifters, the Titans felt like a complete afterthought.
The one redeeming factor of this film was once again Satomi Ishihara, as Hans, who is a joy to watch.
She brought a smile to my face every time she appeared on screen.
Other than her though, this film was absolutely awful.
Incredibly rushed story, terrible acting and characters, atrocious effects and a complete lack of suspense.
This movie really encompasses why so many adaptations of anime go wrong.
The reason so many people connect with Attack on Titan so much is because it was written by Hajime Isayama.
He has a clear vision in writing the manga series, which you can see when reading it.
His vision works perfectly with this story and if any other person had come up with Attack on Titan, it probably would not have worked.
So when adapting something to live action, if it is going to work, you need to adhere to the creator’s original vision because, if you do not, nine times out of ten the film will completely fall apart.
This is the case with films like the Attack on Titan live action adaptations where the director kept the story but threw out the creator’s vision for their own and this new vision combined with Isayama’s story just did not mix.
If the Attack on Titan movies had stuck to Isayama’s vision then they would have been a lot better and connected with more people just like the manga and anime.
Instead they will just be remembered as entries in a long line of horrible live action anime adaptations.