As the "Avengers" movie was to the Marvel universe, so "Rise of the Titans" is to "Tales of Arcadia" with our heroes across three Guillermo del Toro Netflix TV series coming together to fight world-crushing powers. With heavy duty riffing on del Toro's "Pacific Rim."
The movie starts with a short recap of the three TV series, and then picks up with Douxie and Nari, more or less where we left off at the end of the "Wizards" TV series. The two of them (and some friends) try to fight Bellroc and Skrael on a subway train. That doesn't go well - but if you've seen the trailer, you know that the Titans of the title do rise, and that wouldn't have happened if Bellroc and Skrael had been stopped.
I had multiple problems with the movie. The single most important one is that my expectations were too high: the team that had created the TV series was good at long form, but I don't think either their skills or the material was as well suited to the shorter form of a movie. Other problems:
- Did the artwork for Strickler change? It felt wrong
- Emile Hirsch's voice work for Jim also felt ... different from what was in the TV series. And not better.
- Anyone who's seen "Pacific Rim" is going to be having major flashbacks when you watch the fight in Hong Kong (and yet props for the "Gun Robot" call-back, that was good)
- The ending was all kinds of cop-out with a big dose of ambiguous
It was the cop-out ending was what really did me in: suddenly providing a magical artifact of that power to Jim ... and then him passing responsibility to someone else? That was out-of-character, and of course left the final outcome completely ambiguous. It was a crap end to a series that had been dribbling downhill, when this movie should have provided an opportunity to end on a high note.