Monday, January 23, 2006

Patlabor 2 (1993)


Animé Drama Mystery Sci-Fi War Thriller (Japan)

Starring: Mîna Tominaga, Toshio Furukawa (Metropolis; Bubblegum Crisis)

Directed By: Mamoru Oshii (Angel's Egg; Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence)

Overview: The police are called in to investigate a terror rocket attack on a bridge. The conspiracy runs deep, and may signal all out war.

Acting: The cast is certainly more serious in this one than in the original Patlabor. The investigators are more serious, and the characters have far more depth (though not as deep as the third installment). The portrayals were far more honest, but was it grand? Did it impress? Nope.
Rating: 7

Cinematography: The quality is far better this time around, but again, not as good as number 3. I can't say that I was intrigued by the style or by what I was looking at, but at least it wasn't blurry.
Rating: 7

Script: The details run pretty deep, and this is good overall, but there were a few logic leaps made by the investigating captains that maybe were too neatly wrapped up. Also I got a little lost along the way, and though I can blame my lack of attention, I still found it a little long, a little too talky. The philosophical discussions however, very enjoyable.
Rating: 7

Plot: This is certainly a stand alone film, and hyper-political in nature. In fact it touts itself as being the most political Anime ever made. I would tend to agree. It's no Constant Gardener, no Syriana, but if this is your bag, it's pretty deep. I must admit I wasn't devoting full attention to this one, and I may have lost a thing or 2 along the way. All that to say, for me it was fine, but slow.
Rating: 7

Mood: The mood was philosophical, deep, mature. In short, a very political drama, with a touch of Sci-fi robot stuff and combat thrown in. However, I just couldn't stop comparing this to Patlabor 3, which I found completely amazing, engrossing and nigh perfect. This was nowhere near as good.
Rating: 8

"You really ran out of gas?! That's funny you only ever hear of people doing that when they're trying to get laid! Anyways, what do we do now?"

Overall Rating: 72% (Labor's Lost)

Aftertaste: This is not what I'd call a memorable film. Early animé tends to be one of those things for me that's risky. Big Robots and Epic battles of universal importance is the order of the day. Luckily, this is nothing like that, but I will just say that I did the job of sifting through the anime to find the gem among this very large pile. One down, nothing impressive.