Movie of the Day – Casshern

If you are interested in movies that look like video games, then this will be the movie for you.  I have seen a lot of movies in my time, but none that really just go for the visual spectacle like Casshern does.  How it escaped my eyes for several years, I must say that I took the recommendation of Netflix to check this out after watching Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow (I liked that movie, so what) and sat there glued to my TV by the visual onslaught of a large, production budget for effects and nothing else.  Yeah, it kind of plays out like a video game that is all style and no substance, but damn if this isn’t one of the prettiest movies out there.  For an Asian release anyways.

The time is the late 21st Century; fifty years of war between Europa and the Eastern Federation have left the planet devastated and the human race completely dispirited. In the aftermath of the Eastern Federation “victory,” a new federation known as Eurasia is born. But the planet has been ravaged beyond the point of repair by nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and a half-century of warfare has taken a devastating toll on all mankind. At first, it appears that salvation is imminent when a highly respected geneticist named Azuma announces the discovery of a so-called “neo cell” that can rejuvenate the human body without risk of rejection. Mankind’s last hope threatens to become its ultimate downfall, however, when nature and science combine to create a menace that could very well extinguish the human race forever. Now, as the human race prepares to make its last stand against the ultimate enemy, a powerful warrior will emerge to fight for mankind and provide hope for future generations. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

I am glad that there is a coherent plot synopsis for this movie, cause it is a mess of a film.  Cramming different philosophical and ethical subplots and storylines doesn’t help this movie out when you get down to the brass tacks.  It’s a film about warring federations and the creations of Neo-cells that will revolutionize society and mankind.   That’s about all I got out of the plot since the director Kazuaki Kiriya just shurgged and gave us all the cgi/green screen action that we can handle.

This is one instance where I will take style over substance.  Casshern really tried to tell a cohesive story, but just gets lost amongst all the futuristic, shiny sets that this movie generates.  I kind of liked this futuristic dystopia where one federation is hanging on by a thread after a long war, but no real diving into the aftermath other than some people talking about how fucked up everything is.  The exposition is incredible truncated, no thanks to the subtitles that are butchered and simplified.  No matter, I wanted a visual orgy of awesome set pieces and frenetic fighting, which is what I got.

I don’t know if I can really recommend this to a lot of people.  Exposition and plot heavy watchers will be uninterested in the movie since the story is hurt by the subtitles.  So unless you are a native, Japanese speaker, this won’t do you any good, like it did for me.  Those that are wanting a hyper-kinetic film that uses the green screen/cgi effects to it’s potential, well then this will be good for you to watch.  I have to say that this film really falls under a certain niche of film watchers, but I enjoyed participating in the experience overall.  A true patron of the style over substance school of filmmaking.

*images via RottenTomatoes




About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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