Last week, as part of the Montreal Fantasia Film Festival, I got the chance to see the live action movie of Gatchaman.
Since the movie isn’t out in Japan until next week, I thought I’d write a couple of words about it.
First of all, I must mention that I do not remember a single thing from the original show as I first saw it over 20 years ago.
The movie tells the story of a team of five young humans with the power the fight against the invading forces of the “Galactors” who are hell bent on eradicating humans.
These five you people are :
- Ken, the leader and a broken “mission before everything else” type of character;
- George, childhood friend of Ken who wants nothing but revenge on the Galactors for killing his beloved Naomi ( another of Ken’s childhood friend);
- Jun, a girl who’s main trait appears to be her ability to suck at cooking, and be in love with Ken and making rather direct approach to him only to always be turned down by him;
- Jinpei, Jun’s kid brother and the team’s IT with the knack of playing the damsel in distress.
- Ryu, the team’s muscle with a big heart and no brain.
While you could be fooled into thinking the movie is about those five, it’s actually about the three childhood friends ( Ken, George and Naomi ) and their strange love triangle.
I’ve made a huge mistake™ in going to see this movie with Yamato Live Action level expectations.
What I got instead was a Tokusatsu movie ( a la Gavan ) but with a higher budget.
And that isn’t (that) bad on itself, It’s just that if I knew I was going to watch Toei like toku movie, I probably wouldn’t have hyped myself this much.
It felt like the movie couldn’t juggle well it’s the tone it wanted to have, serious, dark, or funny.
This is mainly due to the setting being at first slight grimdark, and Ken always having a straight face and acting like he was Gundam 00’s Setsuna. However they started mixing flat jokes and hit/miss humor.
With all of that out of the way, sorry if it may seem like I hate the movie, the truth is that I actually enjoyed the movie for what it was.
There were a total of 2 costumed battle event , and I have to say the FX when we see the Gatchamans flying around in their suits is rather beautiful.
The score was actually pretty nice too, and we the ending song 「虹を待つ人」by BUMP OF CHICKEN was pretty sweet.
I probably wouldn’t rewatch it, but hey, if you like Gatchaman and Tokusatsu, then I recommend you see it when you can.