Friday, December 26, 2008

Appleseed: Ex Machina Revisited

Some of you may recall my review of Appleseed Ex Machina a many months ago. In it, I stated that it was a very solid, character-driven story, and gave it an 8 out of 10. But, having seen it again, I can tell you that that was a bad call. The slick visual style and action sequences greatly affected my judgment, but the plot's issues remain.

The truth is, there weren't any real bad guys for Deunan and Briareos to fight. Sure, there were antagonists, and other conflicts. But these were mostly emotional conflicts and inner struggles. These drove them emotionally. What the movie really needed was for the main characters to be driven physically, by a physical and personal enemy. It needed that third element. This is essential in an action film, and was not present in Ex Machina until the very end of the very last fight. It was because of this that the movie lacked the depth it so much needed.

Before, I had rated Appleseed: Ex Machina an 8 out of 10. Now, I'd give it a 7 out of 10. See it if you are a fan of the manga or of John Woo's action choreography, but the truth is it really could have been so much greater.