Sunday, July 10, 2011

Movie Review: Trigun: Badlands Rumble

Readers in the US may be aware that Trigun has just hit some theaters across the country (thanks Funimation!) and somehow my theater got one of the first showings and I saw it opening night last Friday. Between friends and other people coming to see the movie we managed to fill up the tiny screening room (the same one from Summer Wars actually, not that this is very impressive since just 17 people made the room pretty full) and generally had a good time. Oh, but I'm still annoyed that regular drinks at the theater were $4.25 while beer was only $1.50, heck I didn't even know movie theaters sold alcohol in the South!

Trigun: Badlands Rumble

Summary: Playing out much like an extended episode, 20 years ago Vash helped a criminal go free (a robber named Gasback whose gang was trying to kill him after they robbed a bank) and it's come to bite him in the ass in the present day. Vash ends up in the town that holds Gasback's next target and does his best to resolve the conflict without bloodshed.

The Good: Even for people who aren't familiar with the series the movie is fairly straightforward to follow* (it really does play out like an extra long, extra high budget episode from the series). It's a film with a lot of action in it and, true to the series, most of the action has a fair bit of humor in it (such as Vash's way of keeping a bar fight from getting out of hand, the audience started applauding at that point). It's a fun, action-filled Space Western film that happens to be animated and not have much to do with space at all.

The Bad: While the movie is easy to get into it's recommended that you have an idea of what the series is about and who all the characters are/their motivations. Some of the newer characters come off as a bit flat (of course, most of the one shot villains in the series feel rather flat too) and Amelia's motivation for wanting to kill Gasback is a bit hazy and illogical. There also seemed to be a few complaints (seen around the internet, not from the other theater attendees) that the movie wasn't a continuation/reboot of the tv series (having not finished it yet I don't have any comment to add to this).

The Audio: This theater was showing the subbed version of the movie and the original voice actors for the four reoccurring characters as the same as their tv counterparts (the same can't be said for the English version where, due to various circumstances, only Vash returns). Milly and Meryl are both more high pitched than their American counterparts but all the voices seem like a good fit for the characters. That applies to all the new characters as well and the music works nicely, no weak spots here! 

The Visuals: As one might suspect, the visuals in this movie are much better than the ones in the show (partially because the tv show is almost 13 years old now and partially because it's a 13 year old show that didn't age as well as some others have). It seems as if there's a fight scene every 15 minutes in the movie and all of them look very good, the budget must have been enormous. All the designs look the same as their TV counterparts and the new characters fit the look of the series as well.

There's not a ton else to say, there was a plot to the movie that worked but it was more of a really fun popcorn flick. I'm happy I saw it, even happier that I saw it with friends, and I think that in a day or two I'll get back to the tv series, especially since I just finished up another space western anime series..... 

*my brother hasn't seen the series at all and didn't have much trouble following it after I gave him a basic synposis and I haven't seen much of the series either. Heck, I hadn't even seen the episode where Wolfwood first shows up!