Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1998)

Er... I don't think they're on our side...

Genre: Fantasy Thriller Animé (Japan)

Starring (English Version): Michael Dobson ("X-Men: Evolution"; Broken Saints), Michael Kopsa

Directed By: Hiroyuki Okiura (Cowboy Bebop: The Movie)

Overview: An officer of an elite police unit suffers a traumatic event at the hands of a suicide bomber, and becomes involved with the bomber's sister while political machinations work behind the both of them.

Acting: The acting is appropriate, if not a little withdrawn. Animé has a way of being melodramatic, as I've said before. This is ultra-realistic and fairly subdued. The acting suits the mood, and it's very well done.
Rating: 7

The images are of a different sort than you would tend to expect. The people are drawn as close to human as possible, and they live in a world just a few years off. No lasers, no floating spaceships, in fact the weapons and vehicles are mostly of a 1940s German nature (Volkswagen Beetles and Walther PPK pistols). All this to say they made a real film, and skipped all the fantastical. Except for the explosions and the ammo, and the detail on the gore (which were all very dramatic), this plays out like a regular movie. It was perfect for this type of plot. Quite obviously, this movie had a strong influence from Akira, you can see if everywhere.
Rating: 8

The main characters are a fairly pensive, quiet bunch. The political machinations are well explained until the end (I seemed to have missed a little something there along the way, as to reasons why) but overall a fairly believable script.
Rating: 7

As I began to explain in the cinematography, this was a very realistic movie, and though I would have preferred something a little more large-scale, the plot that unfolds has twists within twists, and is entertaining while not being too predictable.
Rating: 7

The mood is the thing in this. The animation pushes the stark reality of this world set in the near future (in fact it's technically set in the past, as it's shortly after WWII, maybe early 60s - all this to say they did a great job on setting details throughout). The wolf references are dusted throughout, and the theme of Little Red Riding Hood overlayed atop it really set up the mood perfectly. Films with a scene or two of symbolism are nice, but when people make a movie AROUND the mood they wish to convey, tremendous. This film presents to us the way to do it well.
Rating: 9

Say what you will but those outfits are effin cool.

Overall Rating: 76% (Well Done)

Aftertaste: The mood was great but unfortunately, for me the rest of the movie was a little slow for my liking. The opening with the riots and dark plots set me up for something more than I got in the end. I'm glad I saw it, but not much more than that.