Appleseed 2 (2007)

Title:Appleseed 2 (2007)
Appleseed Saga Ex Machina
Appleseed: Ex Machina
Keywords: , , ,
Notables: Original Concept - MASAMUNE Shirow
Produced by John Woo and directed by Shinji Aramaki, Appleseed Ex Machina (2007) ranks as the most elaborate, stylish, and violent of the three adaptations of Masamune Shirow's manga. When it was released in 1988, the original Appleseed felt like a summary of anime's past, while Akira pointed the way to the future. The second Appleseed (2004), also directed by Aramaki, was an unimpressive motion-capture CG feature that borrowed elements from other sci-fi anime. In this latest incarnation, Deunan, Briareos, and Tereus of the E.S.W.A.T. team are charged with preserving the peace of the city-state of Olympus, a hi-tech paradise on a largely ruined Earth. Screenwriters Kiyoto Takeuchi and Todd W. Russell have given the story a contemporary twist, adding attacks by "cyborg terrorists" and an effort by the ruler of Olympus to control a world-wide satellite surveillance system. When cyborgs and human launch coordinated attacks on the government headquarters in Olympus, Deunan, Briareos, and Tereus swing into action against a mysterious enemy. The plot has little in common with the earlier films: the Appleseed technology that was at the core of the story isn't even mentioned. The look, tone, and characters in Ex Machina recall Shirow's Ghost in the Shell, rather than the original Appleseed. Not surprisingly, the elaborately choreographed fight scenes reflect Woo's signature style, with slo-mo martial-arts combat, close-ups of falling shells, dynamic camerawork, and all-out gun battles. But the weightless movements of the motion-capture characters and the limited rendering of the skin textures gives Appleseed Ex Machina the feel of an extremely elaborate computer game. Despite the limits of the mo-cap technology, Appleseed Ex Machina is a fast-past, take-no-prisoners cinematic adventure that will delight action-movie fans as well as anime lovers. (Rated PG-13: violence, violence against women, profanity, grotesque imagery, potentially offensive religious imagery.)

--Charles Solomon of AMAZON.COM

A movie released in Oct '07.

[edit] The ↗Appleseed franchise:

Original story: First retelling: Second retelling:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 10 10 10 6 5 Ggultra2764 [series:1783#1552]
This sequel to the 2004 film adaptation of Appleseed appears no different from any other movie I've seen with style over substance. The movie breezes through events without taking much time to properly explore new elements introduced as the elements are only brought up to push along the show's plot. Deunan and Briareros get a new partner in the form of Tereus which had its potential to create tension as Tereus was cloned from Briareros and causes Deunan some discomfort and mistrust of him at the start of the movie. However, the movie quickly establishes them to trust one another thus killing whatever potential this story element could have had. In addition, the revelation concerning the acts of cyber-terrorism is another typical case of what I would like to call "SEELE syndrome" as the antagonist behind the whole thing is shallowly evil and desires humanity to become one consciousness. And the Ex Machina found in the movie title seems appropriate considering the deus ex machina ending that comes along when Deunan and Briareros deal with halting the baddie's plans.

In terms of visuals, Appleseed Ex Machina is definitely good on the eyes sporting excellent CG animation in the renderings of character designs, mechas and scenery. The character designs are improved from the first movie as facial features look natural and move about naturally compared how stiff they looked when cel-shaded animation was used. Action scenes are plentiful in this movie and they don't disappoint as there are a wide range of sequences to get out of this movie from aerial battles in mecha to a car chase scene to melee combat.

Still however, Appleseed Ex Machina proved to be a weaker film in quality compared to its 2004 prequel as this movie chose to resort more to its style in action scenes than putting together a cohesive plot. If you just want to see this film for the action, then it is definitely worth a look. But anyone looking for anything more will be disappointed.

Last updated Wednesday, October 05 2011. Created Tuesday, October 04 2011.

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