For a ninety-nine cent rental it was worth every penny and more.
In the future, robots live among us and serve us. Many believe that the next step of human evolution is to become them. To this end, the Hanka company is developing this hybrid by merging a human brain into a robotic body. The result is Major, the first of her kind. Neither truly robotic or human, she is assigned to Sector 9 as a weapon used to aid humanity in the fight against its detractors. After several higher-ups within Hanka are murdered Major slowly begins to realize that her own existence and the world around her are not what she has been lead to believe. She must question everything she has been told and everyone she has known in order to find the real truth.
As a matter of full disclosure, I have no exposure to any of the source material used for this movie. The fact that it was originally anime is about all I know of it. My review and thoughts will be solely based upon my experience of watching the movie in question.
Whether by intent or not, this movie is stylistically and thematically reminiscent of a variety of movies. Comparisons to RoboCop can be made when considering a human brain being put in a robotic body and the struggle to find which identity is real. The are shades of Bladerunner when you see the city and consider that Major is essentially a cop just like Deckard was. Again we see robots that are trying to become more human-like whereas the humans are seeking the immortality of the robots. Some of the gun play and action scenes invoke the same imagery as the Matrix films and there is also the same idea of riding a ceaselessly endless network of consciousness.
The movie is visually stunning nearly to the point of distraction. The environment and characters are done in such a stunning a beautiful fashion as to match the beauty of Scarlett Johansson herself. Robots that can blend in and out of humans, neon signs reflecting in the water, or holograms the size of skyscrapers make the movie feel wondrous and vivid. It also lead to the feeling that the scenic rolls were being drawn out to give a false sense of wonder and taking time away from actually telling parts of the story. Clocking in at one hundred and seven minutes, the film probably could have been condensed by simply shortening these bits without loss of exposition.
The movie starts out slow but gains its own momentum. After a certain amount is revealed one may find themselves leaning in waiting on that next key piece of the story in a heightened state of anticipation. There is just enough foreshadowing that the plot feels believable but has not been given away at any point. One thing that did not feel as natural was the pace of the movie near the end. Something made it feel abrupt at the conclusion and whether the filmmaker’s intent was to leave things unsettled or open for a sequel.
With the movie being only ninety-nine cents via a PlayStation Store sale, there is no complaint on the price. Even if I had paid full price to own it there would be no disappointment. Others may disagree based on an attachment to the film’s source material but that is not this writer’s vantage point. Although not perfect, as no film is, the movie was entertaining and worth another watch.
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A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.