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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.