Saturday, June 16, 2018

Neophyte Reviews: Ace Attorney (2012)

I hope you have no Objection to me doing this.  So that was the easy one out of the way.  Today's Film is Ace Attorney, the 2012 Film Adaptation of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (just the first Game).  It is a long-running Series from Japan that has a cult status here in America.  It is the game where you yell 'Objection!' and that guy in the suit from Marvel vs. Capcom Games.  A few years back, it got a Film Adaptation in Japan, but there seems to be no rush to follow up on it.  I don't know if it underperformed, if Capcom wasn't happy or if there is a third reason for it.  Here's the important thing: I've never played a Phoenix Wright Game.  I know about it by reputation and by Bob talking about it.  I know that it is a quirky Court Room Game, but that's about it.  So does the Film make any sense for me?  You'll later see how Bob felt about it- as someone who has played all of the Games.  The basic Story- Phoenix is a young, up-and-coming Attorney.  A couple of interconnected Cases strike close to him for him and he has to solve them all!  This was Directed by Takashi Miike, a man who makes more Films than most of us make balanced Breakfasts.  When does he sleep?!?!?  So does this work as a simple, stand-alone Film or do I need to play at least one Game to get it?  To find out, read on...
Phoenix (often called Nick- which was distracting) is a young, rising Attorney in a Japan that is so overrun with crime that all cases are Bench Trials and usually only last a day or two.
Miles Edgeworth is a strong, reliable Prosecutor who will run into conflict with our Hero.
When a friend/co-worker is killed, Phoenix faces off with Edgeworth to defend the client- her Sister!
The Film is full of strange, quirky people and this guy is no exception.  Who dressed Werner Herzog up like Joey Ramone?!?
Things take a big turn later when Edgeworth is accused of murder and won't defend himself!
As we see, the pair- plus their friend Larry- have known each other for a long time.  Will this help or hurt the case?
Phoenix has to both try the case and also look for evidence in this expedited process of Law.  Can he find the clues he needs?
How does this all connect back to a Spirit Medium we see at the beginning pointing out an accused man 15 years earlier?
To save the day (and his client), Phoenix will do anything.  Will it be enough?

To find out, watch the Film.
A fun, but bizarre experience.  To be fair, that's my default response to *most* Takashi Miike Films.  Izo was an exception, of course, and Yakuza Apocalypse tended to skew more towards the bizarre than the fun.  For all of the silliness involved, I could follow Terra Formars.  It was a weird Film about Mutant Super Cockroaches on Mars- granted.  In this case (pun not intended), he keeps the balance just right.  The Story is *mostly* grounded, but features some supernatural elements that are never quite explored enough.  All of the Characters manage to both look ridiculous and still feel like Characters.  Everything tied together nicely and the whole thing mostly worked for me.  There is definitely some random stuff that I didn't get- like The Blue Badger-, but thankfully it was more of a minor distraction than anything else.  All of the Acting was good and the Film was engaging.  If they worked out the mix of straight-forward Film and fan service, I think that it could make for some other interesting Films.  I'm not sure if knowing the Series hurts or helps the experience here.  I guess that is for the combined opinion of an expert and a neophyte to decide.  Before you get the former, let me just point out how what this Film inexplicably reminded me of...
Next time, I resume my normal insanity.  As always, its a crapshoot what I'll do next.  Stay tuned...

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