I caught this movie when it showed up on the Television. I had no idea what it was. Just decided to go in and watch it. Really. I had zero idea what it was about other than the title.
This movie. It’s strange, to say the least, and not in a quirky way. Really, it feels like an anime or video game brought to live action, but as far as I know, it’s an original story. The movie is directed by Mamoru Oshii, who also did Ghost in the Shell.
There are eight tribes of Garms in the world that are unable to create new life. That’s why they use cloning technology to perpetuate their wars for Garm tribe supremacy. This only occurs after their creator leaves and all of the Druids die off. From the title, you already know there’s going to be another druid, though the druid character oddly sits on the sidelines for pretty much the whole movie.
The visuals are pretty good, though also really CGI. The colors for the film are just so muted. It was actually straining for me to watch it at times because things wash together so much. The plot pretty much drops you into the last days of the war. They catch you up to speed by name dropping all eight tribes. It’s like the movie knew viewers would be confused, so the first time important characters come up, they get nameplate introductions. Only the beginning still a bit confusing on the first viewing, and I didn’t really feel like watching it a second time.
The movie is really stylish, but that’s about it. The world never really finds its footing in the rather short film. I never cared why they were fighting. And real people don’t do stylish action scenes as well, so they didn’t have that either. There seems to be no normal people in the world. Just a bunch of Garms fighting and the main characters wondering why things are the way they are.
With only a hurried introduction, the movie more quieter times that gives some more character motivations.
Some spoilers for the movie follow. Just vague things, no specifics.
Then comes the last act, which I think is act 4? Yes, the movie divides itself into acts. Stuff gets super crazy and it all ends on massive cliffhanger. Pun intended for those that have seen the movie. It really makes the entire journey just feel not worth it.
This movie is just strange. It plays out like it expects you to know a lot of backstory material, only I don’t think there actually is any backstory material around. It’s trying to be stylish but real people can’t do that as well as animated people, not in the physics defying anime way. The the cliffhanger makes the journey feel not worth. It’s a pretty weird piece of film that would have benefitted greatly by giving viewers a reason to care about anything that’s going on.