'Attack on Titan' - Movie Review

I learned a new word! "Tokusatsu," defined by Wikipedia as "a Japanese term that applies to any live-action film or television drama that features considerable use of special effects (tokusatsu literally translates as 'special filming' in Japanese)." And yes, "Godzilla" is the quintessential tokusatsu movie.

The movie was released in two parts in Japan: "Attack on Titan" and "Attack on Titan: End of the World." This is a review of the first of these two.

"Attack on Titan" is based on a successful manga of the same name. The main premise is that 100 years ago, Titans appeared - 20 metre tall humanoids who like to eat humans. The remainder of humanity (I love the assumption made by so many pieces of fiction that their people are the centre of the universe) builds three massive concentric walls to keep the Titans out, and lives a peaceful and relatively low-tech existence for 100 years. All of which is explained, and our heroes introduced, in 15 minutes before the first new sighting of a Titan - one so large it kicks a whole in the wall so regular Titans can enter. Decimation follows. And then we jump forward two years. Which is a crap story structure, but nothing compared to the wooden prose, lousy exposition, and terrible acting. Now "humanity" has lost their food supply (the outer ring wall contained the farms) and our heroes are part of a desperate mission by the makeshift military to try to fix the breached wall so the Titans within the outer ring can be cleared out.

The effects are good but not great. The method of attacking the Titans is ... physically improbable, as are the Titans themselves (and their food source). Most importantly, the writing and acting are bloody awful. And yet, it's kind of mesmerizing and I watched the entire thing. Whether or not I'll bother to track down "End of the World" is open to question.