Friday, 5 October 2012
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Running Time: 180 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: Out Now!
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
Like many manga and anime before it, Deathnote, Dragonball Z, Guyver, City Hunter and Street Fighter have been made into live action movies, and although they have originally been made for the Japanese market, they have become of great interest to us in the West.
Gantz is an unusual story - two men save a drunken man who has fallen off a train platform, but get run over for their efforts. Expecting never to wake up, the men open their eyes and find themselves around other men in a white room, a large, black sphere in the center.
After a short while, a woman starts to materialize before their eyes, and falls onto the floor - she is the same as they are, dazed and confused, but naked and vulnerable, especially with one man in the room who is less than decent around her. When they think things can't get any worse, the Gantz sphere tells them they are to forget about their old lives and be happy they have new ones, then tells them of a man they must kill - but for very different reasons. One man starts to remember what happened to him before he ended up in the room, he was drugged and in a hospital where they treated him.
When they least expect it, they are transported with their guns to a location outside and told by another man that they are in a virtual reality TV game for Yale University in the US. If they decide to participate, they can win $ 100,000 in cash, which works out at 10 million Yen.
There are plenty of strange goings on, the contestants chasing after a child who looks unusual, yet you can't tell if it's prosthetics he has on, or he looks like that for real. Even the contestants think they are in a virtual reality setting and what they are doing isn't real at all. The only two people not to react to any of the lures are Kato and Kurono.
There are the moral implications of the movie to consider as well, and that is anyone might be persuaded to hunt a defenseless child and kill them, or anyone else for that matter if money is offered. They are put into a situation where they have to act quick, and they find they can't, some get killed, while Kato and Kurono are still alive. When the Gantz sphere sends them back into the real world, he has the remaining contestants feeling out of place as they did not do their jobs. Gantz also makes them believe that it might have all been a dream. Kurono remembers how things were when he knew Kato, but now they are apart he wonders what will happen to them later.
Gantz has been described as being similar to Elfen Lied, but not so violent, and very much like Requiem For the Darkness. It is pretty violent but there is plenty of teen angst in it too.
Bonus Material: The Making of Gantz, Interviews, Teasers and Trailers, TV Spots and Close.
Verdict: Gantz could be the best movie interpretation of manga yet - horror, sci-fi and an eerie setting, it's a tense, psychodrama with well-rendered special effects.