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Review – Casshern

November 12, 2007

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Short form review – you have got to see this movie.

Somewhat longer review – after what the movie implies is a huge Russo-Japanese war, the Asian victors inhabit what looks to be a Steampunk version of a Russian city.

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Tetsuya (Yusuke Iseya) runs off to join a war against “terrorists”, against his father, Dr. Azuma’s, wishes (Akira Terao).

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While in the war, he sees atrocities and is killed (which doesn’t make this a short movie, surprisingly).

While he’s away, Dr. Azuma gets funding from the government to research neo-cells, which have the potential to cure disease and body damage.  While researching, Tesuya’s body is returned to Azuma, who is also responsible in all of this for creating a race of superhumans called Neo-Sapiens with his experiments, who escape into the sewers after being resuscuitated by an Art-Deco lightning bolt(!). He then must defend his city from the Neo-Sapiens and the “terrorists”  from his city.  And it’s a love story.  And an indictment of war.

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Yes, this film covers a lot of ground (and this is supposed to be the shorter version of the film, probably for Western audiences).  The visual overload going on here is incredible (I was trying to pick out what was shot against a greenscreen and what was practical set, and failing miserably).

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I have to say that this was what I had hoped Ultraviolet would have looked like but didn’t – especially the the Communist Propaganda poster feel of the Art Direction…
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My only complaint is the Deus Ex Machina feel of the ending (INVISO TEXT)

where the lightning (the Spirit of Humanity, I guess, which fixed up the neo-cells so Tetsuya could live again) sends Tetsuya and Luna to another planet to start Life there. So they’re dead, but their spirits go on – I guess that’s a happy ending…

And there’s more I want to write about in the main theme of this film – I’m just trying to find the time to do so.

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