Akira

"Excellent"

Akira Review


"TETSUOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

"KEIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!"

Neo-Tokyo is about to explode. Adapted from the mega-popular biweekly Japanese comic strip, Katsuhiro Otomoto's Akira pares down the epic graphic novel into two hours of purely visceral animated carnage. What lacks in coherence is made up for by brutal energy, starting off with a blood soaked shooting, mutant kids on the run, a kick-ass motorcycle chase straight from Mad Max, and a riveting electronica score. Hop on your bike! Let's go!

Set in an apocalyptic Blade Runner city in 2019, young cyberpunk Kaneda and his pint-sized bullethead amigo Tetsuo encounter a dangerous telekinetic child (after kicking the shit of a rival bike gang). Before you can say "makeshift plot," a band of government scientists and army helicopters are chasing our young heroes through the city before "Akira" is unleashed. The chase doesn't disappoint, leading to a monster-movie climax where one of the central characters transforms into a gigantic jelly-beast, smashing the city to pieces. Many, many people die. Hundreds. Maybe thousands. It's beautiful, man!

The old ultraviolence achieves poetic splendor with top-notch animation. Painted in a wide array of futurama colors, it's a neon glitter-dream come to life. When heads start exploding like melons, bright red splotches are highlighted against screaming white backdrops. The details are impeccable, with crowd scenes playing out as mini-masterpieces of character design.

Die-hard Akira fans will be pleased by the digital remastering of the print, now being projected digitally in some theaters. For a 15-year-old slice of anime, Akira is still looking mighty sleek. Yeah, the dubbing is still fairly inept, but who's watching this movie for the great dialogue? (Okay, fine -- I liked it too when Kei says, "Amoebas don't make motorcycles and atomic bombs!" Just don't give me a bad attitude, pops. They've cut the juiciest camp translations in the re-release.)

Akira is the rare animated film where the nonsensical plot actually doesn't make much of a difference. The action is staged fluidly and the tone is pure pop opera. It's Godzilla meets Rebel Without a Cause. While the manga fan base tends to overrate the film to a fault, Akira will appropriately smash you in all the right places.

The end or the beginning?



Facts and Figures

Run time: 124 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 24th July 2001

Budget: $10M

Distributed by: Streamline Pictures

Production compaines: Bandai Visual Company, TMS Entertainment, Akira Committee Company Ltd., Kodansha, Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS), Sumitomo Corporation, Toho Company, Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 39 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 8.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Katsuhiro Otomoto

Starring: as Shôtarô Kaneda (voice), as Tetsuo Shima (voice), as Kei (voice), Tesshō Genda as Ryûsaku (voice), Hiroshi Ohtake as Nezu (voice), Kōichi Kitamura as Priestess Miyako, Council A (voice), Yuriko Fuchizaki as Kaori (voice), Masaaki Ōkura as Yamagata (voice), Takeshi Kusao as Kai (voice), Kazuhiro Kamifuji as Masaru (No. 27) (voice), Tatsuhiko Nakamura as Takashi (No. 26) (voice), Fukue Itô as Kiyoko (No. 25) (voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.