Friday, July 13, 2012

WTF Japan?!?: Gantz II

Aliens are still killing each other...and I'm still not really sure why.  We're back with Gantz II.  No, it's not Gantz: Part II, even though it's the second half of the story.  To be fair, other sources- read: not Netflix- bill it as Gantz: Perfect Answer.  That's somewhat like Rest Stop: Don't Look Back- a subtitle that really doesn't relate to anything in the story.  It's not about ghost killers driving trucks, so it is 1,000,000,000 times better than that crap though.  I can say SPOILER-FREE that this might kind of relate to something, but it's a bit of a stretch.  You could have called it Gantz: 100 Point Special, Gantz: Blow More Shit Up or even Gantz: Stirba- Werewolf She-Bitch.  Regardless, this is the movie that we have in front of us.  This is the second half of the story and attempts to wrap up the whole thing.  Given how long the Manga is and that the Anime ran for two 'Seasons,' I don't know how easy that will be in roughly four hours.  To find out if this actually wraps up neatly, read on...
At some point and time, this lady is greeted by a small orb and is told to kill people.  Sure- why not?
Our hero's goal is to get 100 Points via Gantz's oddly-arbitrary point system.  Why?  I'm not telling.
On a mission, some of the 'competitors' get a feeling of Deja Vu.  Why?  Again- I'm not telling, although it's somewhat due to me not being entirely sure this time.
Why is the previous film's hero suddenly evil?  There's an explanation for this...kind of, but you're still not getting it here.
What event has caused our heroes to point their delayed-explosion guns at each other?  Yeah, you know the drill.  It is honestly interesting though.
That's probably not going to end well.  At least they're not scratching their heads with them Plan 9-style.
The Orb- called Gantz, duh- is the key to everything and what's inside of it plays into the ending.  Aside from that, I'm not sharing any more.

At this point, you'll have made up your mind.  The End.
Did it all work as a whole?  For me, the second film had the pacing a bit off.  If you view it on its own, the first half has almost no action.  In its place, you have character moments, the murder mystery sub-plot and a Detective.  Yes, in the second film- or the third hour, if you're going to be a dick- we suddenly have a Detective investigating the mysterious disappearances and explosions in/around Tokyo.  Granted- it makes sense.  If random building blew up in DC every week, that shit would get checked!  It feels a bit silly here, especially considering that the Detective's role is to keep you from the sci-fi action.  If you're going to be more forgiving, you could say that the first half of Part II is a break from the big action set-piece at the end of Gantz.  I could buy that, but not everyone is going to see these films in a block- i.e. me.  With that said, the movie has some high points, including it's 2nd/3rd Act which is almost entirely action.  Yes, no action in the first half and all action in the second.  It's Bi-Polar Cinema making its grand return!  As for the wrap-up, I can say SPOILER-FREE that it is weird as hell.  It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, even by Japanese standards.  I know that there is just one guy out there that will read this one day and go 'He didn't get it?  What a moron!'  That's fine- I can live with that.  It's an oddly-bittersweet Ending too, making sure to use one of the biggest story cheats around as well.  As a whole, I liked Gantz- both parts.  I preferred the mystery and build-up in the first one, but liked getting some answers here.  It was about four hours of my life spent decently, which is more than I can say for the films that feature this alien...
Next up, Japanese/American people fight a giant rat creature.  With a sub-plot involving 9/11, is there any more that you need to know?  Stay tuned...

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