I was pretty excited to see this as I enjoyed the series quite a bit. Unfortunately it’s more of a typical Generic Sci-fi movie.
It looks like Yamato, everything is there. Beautiful effects, wave motion Canon, the Yamato lifting off from Earth. Analyser at first only appears as a tricorder type object used by Kodai but surprisingly turns up later in full robot mode and kicks some serious ass. In many ways the movie stays close to the series story and visuals. The voices of Dessler, Analyser and Starsha sound the same as the series. The music captures the spirit of Hiroshi Miyagawa. The costumes and sets are great (although the bridge could have been bigger).
But it’s lacking spirit. The cast aren’t great. Kimura Takuya who plays Kodai is pretty much acting as himself in the movie. In this movie I feel it’s less about Kodai the Hero and more about Kimura the hero. Too much time is spent talking in this movie. It doesn’t move forward enough and is a bit dragged out at over 2 hours.
Meisa Kuroki plays Yuki who is more like a Starbuck type figure from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, she is an ace fighter pilot and she likes to act tough and punch people’s lights out. I’m all for 21st Century chicks been more bad ass and less girlish making tea for the crew etc but the character is uninspiring and just seems like a rip on Galactica.
The space battles. Gods damn it, the makers of this movie just didn’t get it right. They are your typical affair nothing inspiring, space battles that are pretty much the norm for sci-fi movies, fast and furious. Nothing dynamic about them. Even the opening looks like it copied the opening of the new Star Trek movie. There is also a scene where Kodai has to save Yuki who is stuck out in space before the enemy reaches them and before Yamato warps which is a copy of the miniseries episode of nBSG which had Kara saving Lee in his Viper before the enemy reached them and Galactica Jumped away. In the original animated series they based the battles on World War II movies and had the attack fighters move like fighter planes. Here it’s just ships buzzing around. Where’s the beauty gone in space battles these days?
Gamilus. Are now a bunch of bug type aliens. In the animated series they looked human which was shocking to the Yamato crew and made it far more complex an enemy for it’s a lot harder to kill an enemy that looks like you rather than bug creatures that jump around. Here there is no tactical battles of miltary minds between Gamilus and the Yamato. It’s just a free for all. And Dessler is as disappointing as galactus was in ” Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer” here he is just a blue humanoid squiggly light.
The Ending is a bit heartbreaking and a tiny bit cheesy in a good way. Unfortunately though it looks like we are only getting one Yamato movie. After watching this ending I realized it’s a bit like Armageddon. Meteorites attack the earth, a ship leaves earth to stop them. At the end the hero dies saving the earth and the song ends with a song by Steven Tyler (from Aerosmith) Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Favorite Quote: “We’re all that’s left to defend the Earth. A true man bears the humiliation of today for the sake of tomorrow.” – Juzo Okita