The Door into Summer 2021 – Review and Plot Analysis

The Door Into Summer (2021) is a film adaptation of a novel of the same name written by Robert A. Heinlein. It stars Kento Yamazaki as Soichiro Takakura, a scientist who is duped into giving up intellectual rights to his innovations by his business partner. The movie is set between 1995 – 2025. Soichiro finds a way to travel back in time to correct his mistakes and reunite with his step-sister, Riko.

Plot Summary (No Spoilers) – The Door into Summer (2021)

Soichiro under Koichi Matsushita's guidance
Soichiro under Koichi Matsushita’s guidance

Following the passing of his biological parents, Soichiro is adopted into Riko’s household. He forms a strong bond with his stepfather, Koichi Matsushita, and is inspired to build robots. Riko’s parents die in a plane accident. At present, Soichiro is a 27-year-old robotics engineer for FWE. They use him and steal his research material and robot, in the process hurting Riko, his step-sister. He time travels to save Riko and his project. Aided by PETE, a humanoid made using his designs and a few other characters, he attains his happy ending.

Film Review – The Door into Summer (2021)

Lifeless Plot

Soichiro and Riko share a wholesome moment
Soichiro and Riko share a wholesome moment

The Door into Summer is an average movie at best. It has too much romance for a sci-fi movie that’s based on a book. While it may be true that the emotional aspect of a film helps viewers resonate with it, exploring the antics of a teenager who is in love with her stepbrother (who is ten years older) is pushing it.

The plot could be cut in half, and nothing would change. Removal of the monotonous dialogue from this film, it would have been a short film. The exchanges are shallow, with too much back-and-forth between Soichiro and Riko. The villain (Soichiro’s lover and business partner) appears threatening in the early half, but due to the 30-year time jump, they become irrelevant later on. In addition, throughout the film’s 118 minutes, there is a sense of aimlessness.

Pete, who is always looking for the door into summer above all the most adorable character
Pete, who is always looking for the door into summer above all the most adorable character

Soichiro is presented as a wide-eyed science geek with underdeveloped emotions, even though the main character is supposed to be a passionate genius. When he is teleported to the year 2025, he displays little interest in technology. PETE, the humanoid, and Pete, the “sidekick” cat, are more intriguing than the main character.

Soichiro is Unfit to be the Lead Character!

PETE without a doubt is the most efficient character.
PETE without a doubt is the most efficient character.

The concept of cryo sleep is overused and poorly implemented, leading to numerous plot holes and unexplained events. The plot also uses it conveniently to bring Riko and Soichiro together. Perhaps the title of the film should be changed to “Cryo Sleep: The Solution to All Your Problems” because, aside from using PETE to navigate the new world, Soichiro achieves nothing noteworthy in the second half of the picture. We might have had a much more memorable watch if PETE had been given the lead role.

The accompanying characters coerce Soichiro into reaching his goal. Everything comes naturally to him. It is preferably aggravating that Soichiro spends the entire time drowning himself in self-pity, even though most of his problems have already been fixed. His only contributions are the robot designs and the invention of a self-sufficient power source that permits time traveling. PETE provides several unforgettable moments in the later half of the film, making it bearable. There are numerous storyline flaws. In the end, they all fit together like jigsaw pieces. However, the final picture of the puzzle is not worth solving.

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