Review: Gantz – Perfect Answer

SPOILER WARNING: Read on, only if you don’t mind spoilers for both the first movie and the manga storyline.

The Story

Kurono Kei and his fellow Gantzers are determined to survive their inexplicable situation.   Their driving force is to revive their fallen comrades, but a new alien menace — their most powerful yet; has other plans.

Who will live long enough to reach their goal…

Everything’s Different, From Here On Out

The conclusion to a two part movie series, based on the hit manga series;  Gantz: Perfect Answer continues some months after the story of the first film.  Unlike the first movie however, this one takes a complete departure from the narrative canon of the comics and instead opts for a decidedly pedestrian angle on the remaining proceedings.

For the simple fact that these movies are based on a still ongoing comics storyline, it was always inevitable that the filmmakers would have to take their own approach to the ending.  So, whereas the first film attempted to stay as close as it could to the manga it’s based on; the second film is only slightly in sticking with the books.

In the comics, there is no big bad.  We humans are the equivalent of cockroaches.  A mere smear on the galactic windshield.  Our perceived importance, not shared with the greater universe.  Gantz it turns out, has the goal to change that.  What seemed like a sadistic system when the comics begin becomes earth’s savior.  That grander and special effects heavy story angle has been jettisoned, probably for budgetary reasons, and replaced by a major tweaking of elements from earlier in the manga storyline.

In the comics, the Gantzers are forced into battle with not only aliens, but at times other super-powered humans.  In fact, it is revealed at one point that vampires exist.  One of those vampires is Kurono’s brother Akira (briefly mentioned in the first film, but not used in either).  The vampires are an especially formidable enemy and many high profile lives are lost on the Gantzers side.  It is the vampires that the movie decides to turn into the final big bad.  In the movies though, the vampires are straight up aliens with no connection to the humans.  They do share the same revenge directive that exists in the comics, but the ultimate conclusion to that is necessarily different.

I’ll stop short of giving away the actual ending, but suffice to say there is a definite ending, but also a sequel idea setup that completely departs from the comics.  If you’re a diligent reader of the books, it’s unlikely you’ll be happy with this new setup.

I’m interested to read impressions from folks that have no exposure to the comics.

Let’s Go

The action (as with the first film) is top notch.  Great choreography, smart use of special effects, and with the thumping score an overall kickass homage to the fights from the comics.

The first 3rd of the film is quite dialog heavy so, folks with short attention spans should know to hold on. There a handful of fight sequences that follow in the middle and end of the film that should make up for the lull in the beginning.  The only disappointment action-wise is that all the fights are against the vampires. Fans of the manga looking to see some of your favourite alien battles, you’re out of luck.

The fights that exist are still quite entertaining; with admirable use of CG body doubles and wire-work.

The Verdict

For the action – A

For the story – C+

For performances – C+

Overall a grade of B-


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