Attack on Titan is a 2015 Japanese post-apocalyptic action film. It’s based on the Manga of the same name by Hajime Isayama. The film is directed by Shinji Higuchi.
A teenage boy named Eren Jaeger must use his special gift to fight alongside the military to defeat the Titan race. Humankind is on the brink of extinction when these man-eating monsters terrorize everybody and set to destroy the last of human civilization left in the world. As the battle between the Titans and the humans continues, Eren uncovers a secret that leaves the entire regiment confused. They must unravel its mystery and find a way to stop the Titans.
Attack on Titan – Review and Analysis
The Attack on Titan film was created with the concept of changing things that were ‘unrealistic’ in the Manga, rather than simply adapting the Manga to the big screen. Unfortunately, that concept undermined the entire film, making it feel even more like an ‘unrealistic’ Manga than the work it was based on.
The film features sleek back-and-forth between action and drama. The first Attack on Titan film keeps the themes and most of the familiar names from the Manga as well as the anime. However, they are devoid of any heart or soul. The character traits were completely different from the original, and there were some cringe moments. Some are awkward too.
It tells the story of a world where most of humanity was destroyed by giants. Where the last of mankind fights to survive behind three concentric walls. Walls that were once impenetrable to the giants. The film will follow Eren Yaeger, who lives in the town of Shiganshina. His story began when the wall was breached by two new types of titans, the Colossus Titan and the Armored Titan.
During this catastrophe, Eren’s mother is devoured by a Titan when Eren manages to flee. He swears revenge on all the Titans and enlists in the military with his childhood friends, Armin Arlert and Mikasa Ackerman. It would probably take more than four movies to cover the entire series.
Attack on Titan – Characters
From my perspective, almost every character is plucked from common anime tropes that I can’t stand. The brooding and reluctant hero, the zany techno-chick, the egoist anti-hero, the drunk wise uncle, the icy love interest with a heart of gold, the ninja archer, and the conniving military commander.
The only character development I saw was the female love interest turning into a mercenary. In addition to that, the main hero sacrifices himself for the greater good. Except, he didn’t really. More on that later. Everyone stayed functionally flat and unchanging through the entire three-hour saga.
The effects weren’t bad. Huge, instinct-driven Titans with oversized mouths were appropriately lumbering but scary. In addition, the gore, when they killed their prey (humans), bloody and visceral, as one would expect, neither shied away from nor has too gratuitous for what actions displayed on-screen. The designs of the Titans’ mouths and how each was different are remarkable.
The first Titan we see in the movie, a truly towering beast that knocks a hole in the outer wall, was well-animated and rendered. However, it made the remainder of the film feel a little flat. Here was this awesome, smoke-covered monstrosity that we don’t see again until the very end, left instead with almost boring, dull monsters that don’t have any real agency or wow-factor for the majority of the films.
The end fight against the first-seen titan was pretty cool. I’ll admit, but revealing the “big bad” at the beginning seems like a wasted opportunity which reduced the impact of the rest of the film.
I guess this would be a better movie if they didn’t change almost everything. They changed most characters’ names, important events that should have happened, and didn’t even get Armin’s hair color right.
The action in the movie is good, and so is the graphics. The miniature effects of the buildings with actors morphed into Titans work well, especially with the intense gore. The only thing that is related to the anime and Manga series is Eren is a Titan, Sasha is still a potato girl, and Hange still loves Titans.
My simple response to this film is “don’t watch it” unless and until you absolutely must. Other films have approached the same or comparable idea differently and more intriguingly, without the tiresome and overblown tropes that these films used. I spent more time debating the film’s problems than actually enjoying it.
I don’t intend to imply that this film is without quality because several components and scenes were well-crafted and portrayed. They are, however, too few and far between to warrant sitting through the full three-and-a-half-hour odyssey of bland overacting.