Blu-ray Review: Attack on Titan – Movie 2
28/07/2016 Leave a comment
The live-action Attack on Titan movie franchise returns to finish off the mess it left within the first film but does it get any better or is it all bark and no bite? Personally I find it to be a disappointing film but you can find out more by checking out our thoughts on this Blu-ray release by Animatsu Entertainment.
Eren and the others set out on a mission to restore the Wall that had been destroyed by a colossal Titan, but they’re suddenly faced with a quagmire when they’re attacked by a horde of Titans. Shikishima, the Titan-slaying captain of the Scout Regiment, arrives to save the day, but the Titans show no sign of letting up.
During the battle, Eren is badly injured, and in the process of saving his friend Armin, he’s swallowed whole by a Titan. Just as all hope seems to be lost, a mysterious Titan with black hair suddenly appears and begins annihilating the other Titans. If this mission fails, it will spell the end of humanity. Why did the Titans appear? Why do people continue to fight? The last counterattack to save human civilization is about to begin.
The exploits from the first Attack on Titan movie left a lot to be desired; sure enough some elements of the film, such as its costume design and casting choices, were spot-on but the story it offered was somewhat different to what I, and many others, expected to receive. So with expectations set at an all-time-low what can one expect to receive from its sequel; Attack on Titan II: End of the World? The answer is simple; a film which concludes the story set-out within the first film but one that provides more questions than answers and a completely butchered Attack on Titan experience that I personally would like to forget.
The second Attack on Titan film begins by providing a five minute recap of events that happened within the first film; namely the arrival of the colossal titan, the walls destruction and the plan to use explosives in order to seal the hole. Of course this five-minute recap also recalls the events which see Eren Yager turn into a titan and destroy those around him until he collapses out of exhaustion. It’s here where this second film really begins and instead of continuing on from where the first film left off it instead treats us to a flashback to Eren Yager’s past whereby he is forcibly removed from his house after a certain group of people look for his parents.
What exactly is happening and why remains unclear but it does provide some clues in to how Eren received the titan ability. Alas this flashback is short lived and we eventually see Eren awaken to find him chained in isolation with a firing squad and a general of the army asking him questions; much like the original source material found within the manga and anime series. The difference here is that Eren isn’t saved by Mikasa, his friends or his squad instead he is saved by another Titan and it’s here, right at the very beginning, where the film manages to differ from any kind of source material and take another direction into its own independent storyline.
Now as I haven’t read the manga series it is unclear how much the future events of this film derail from the original source material; but given my experience from the franchise (namely the anime) some plot elements could be legit while others fabricated for the movie. What exactly am I talking about? Well it turns out that Shikishima, the guy which seemingly replaced Levi for the purpose of this film, is able to transform into a titan and upon rescuing Eren from his impending death penalty he explains that titans were created by humans in order to eradicate war and unify the land. Its revealed that the arrival of the colossal titan was also another ploy by the government in order reinstate fear and manage the population of the world. An interesting theory; but Shikishima’s solution to combat this problem is to destroy all of the walls and let the titans in which seems slightly bizarre and extreme when everyone.
Naturally Eren disagress with his plansand its this disagreement which leads to a different kind of confrontation and its one which sees the Survey Corps fight against Shikishima and his private army. It’s interesting to see ideals clash within the Attack on Titan franchise, especially to this extreme, but as it leads to a pointless fight with no real merit other than to ‘beef up’ the screen time then it’s not needed. These ideals of destroying the wall entirely (and destroying the wall to plug up the gap made by the titans) also leads on to confusion to who is doing what and why; another fact when the general returns to the battlefield to reveal that he too can turn into a titan. Furthermore this ‘inner-battle’ between traitors, government officials and regular scout members also disconnects you from the world at hand; the titan onslaught as other than the humans turning into titans we barely see any titans on screen – which is a real shame.
Honestly the only enjoyable part of this movie was the titan fight between Shikishima and Eren as well as the explanation into how the government created titans to maintain order within the world; everything else felt pretty much pointless and easily over-stayed its welcome. The whole storyline prospect of this film oddly enough falls down at each turn, oddly chosen pieces of dialogue, flashback scenes which have no merit and more questions needed answers all appear and when three different factions fight for a similar reason the objective at hand becomes as clouded as the storyline itself; a fact made even more redundant when the post-credits scene offers a different type of ending. Pointless and a waste of time; but of course my biggest gripe is the fact that both films (Part 1 and Part 2) could have easily been edited together into a single film and ideally this would have resulted in a better presented film.
This Blu-ray release of Attack on Titan – Movie 2 contains no bonus features; it is strictly the film in High Definition with removable English subtitles.
Media: BD 25
Running Time: 1:27:40
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, LPCM 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps
Attack on Titan II, otherwise known as Attack on Titan: End of the World, is a live-aciton continuation to the previous live-action Attack on Titan movie whereby it follows the recently set-up scout regiment attempt to fix the wall that has been destroyed by the titans. Instead this film attempts to ignore any human emotion and bypass the fight for survival by explaining human the titans were created and what could be done to overthrow the current government regime that is controlling them. It’s a unique tale which, if presented correctly, could have been an interesting film but instead it manages to fail at every hurdle… that is except the relatively interesting titan fights.
It all begins with a recap before moving into a flashback that sees how Eren was separated from his parents and a look at the scientific experimentation Eren’s father did to which we then find ourselves seeing Shikishima explain the origins of the titans and the technology that has been lost as a result of it. It’s an eye-opening segment to the film but in my eyes well-past-due and not entirely needed. Shikishima’s plan is to overthrow the current government by taking his private army and destroying the wall entirely, the Scout Regiment on the otherhand plan to do the task they set-up to do which of course creates a confrontation between the two sides but it is a short lived battle that soon expands into a titan on titan fist fight. The ending however, which should be dramatic, explosive and over the top, sees Shikishima’s explanation of the government being involved with the titans come to fruitition and finally we get to see Eren take on the colossal titan; a worthwhile moment but once again quickly overshadowed by the events of trying to destroy the wall.
Oddly disappointing and slightly confusing is what this second Attack on Titan film is and while it may please some fans it completely annoys me. Som e great acting, set-pieces and uses of titans but ultimately let down by a half-arsed story that should’ve been cemented together into a single film and oddly enough this Blu-ray release by Animatsu Entertainment isn’t any better due to its lack of bonus features and simple minded subtitles that, strangle enough, did not appear until I turned them on. of course Animatsu Entertainment can not be played for the films content, as the video quality and audio presentation are spot on; but it is incredibly frustrating that no bonus content is included especially when several trailers of the film exist online.
Attack on Titan: End of the World may offer that live-action feel of the Attack on Titan franchise but ultimately it is a waste of your time; and with 15 minutes of the film reserved for recaps and title sequences you aren’t exactly getting your money’s worth either. My advice; this is a rental and not long standard purchase but of course if you want to add the film to your collection then the HMV Exclusive steelbook is the way to go.
Attack on Titan – Movie 2, otherwise known as Attack on Titan II: End of the World, is nowe available on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK.