Towards the end of 1945 with Japan staring defeat squarely
in the face, a last ditch attempt is made at constructing
a super weapon which would turn the tide of war. But defeat
came too soon and the giant robot, Tetsujin -28, remained
a closely guarded secret. Until today, when another giant
robot under the control of a deranged scientist is unleashed
on the unsuspecting city of Tokyo. Black Ox is wreaking havoc
in the streets, so the old colleagues of Shotaro's father
decide to revive the last remaining Tetsujin robot and with
Shotaro's help hopefully rid the world of Black Ox...
28 is the live adaptation of both the original manga and
the subsequent anime series, which was better known as Gigantor
in the States. Directed by Shin Togashi, this is predominantly
a kids film which should appeal to lovers of Spy Kids.
is an action film for big kids and people who remain kids
at heart - especially lovers of giant robots. That said the
overall feeling is that the film is the epitome of style over
content. It lacks the heart of the very similar The Iron
Giant and the pace of the more action orientated anime
series. The robots, rather than engaging in battle, zooming
around on their cool back jets, spend most of the time ponderously
slugging it out almost in slow motion. It could be argued
that any construction this big would inherently move fairly
slowly, but it doesn't make for riveting watching. There is
nothing wrong with the special effects, and the destruction
of Tokyo is wonderfully realised, but the whole thing could
have been so much better if the pace had been cranked up a
characters remain two dimensional, though to be fair this
criticism can be levelled at most kids films. The bad guys
stay just this side of panto-villians and the adults, which
aid the twelve year old Shotaro, are either good natured but
bumbling, or super smart with just a little hint of softness
in their hearts. I did like the female MIT expert that is
drafted in to help the police, dressed as she was in a cross
between a Girl Scout and a military uniform. Who knew engineering
could be so funky?
One of the really good things about the film is the seamless
integration of the CGI with the live action shots. Although
the way they are shot gives them real presence, they lack
a certain degree of interactivity with both their environment
and each other. Considering they are fighting in the rubble
strewn streets they pick up few if any scratches or dirt -
even getting the two giant robots to punch each other doesn't
noticeably scratch the paint work or dent any fenders.
film suffers from being a little over long. Endless shots
of Shotaro crying over his lost father, his fears, his inability
to face up to his responsibilities tends to get a little wearing.
film has a good range of audio options with Japanese stereo,
5.1 and DTS. The 5.1 and DTS especially do a lot to enhance
what is otherwise a fairly average film. Don't speak Japanese?
Well time to turn the English subtitles on. Apart from three
trailers there is nothing in the way of extras to add any
extra value to the DVD.
a film that will entertain younger children as well as lovers
of giant robots, but I have the feeling that most adults will
be reaching for the fast forward button.