Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Classic Review - Negadon: The Monster from Mars

NOTE: Please keep in mind that this review is old, so while some editting has been done to make it read a little more timelessly, a lot of it is obviously dated. As such, where some things may be noted as 'spoilers', they probably no longer are.

After letting it sit on the DVR for what seems like a year now, I've finally started to dig into my old Ani-Monday recorded events. To kick things off, I started from the bottom of the list with the CG film, 'Negadon: The Monster from Mars'.

Be warned - there are MASSIVE spoilers ahead, due to the films short running time.

Negadon takes place in the distant future, telling the story of Ryuichi Narasaki, a former high-robotics inventor, who is begged by a former student to return for a military contract. Narasaki refuses, vowing to never again work with robotics, after an accident caused the death of his daughter Emi years before. Meanwhile, a terraforming ship (a ship to make something more Earth-like and hospitable) comes back from Mars, with a large rock for study. Something goes wrong on the flight back however, and the ship crash-lands, releasing a huge monster, the title's namesake Negadon. Seeing the creature's destruction, Nagasaki takes it on himself to put an end to it, to save the future generations.

As I said before, this is a really short film. It totals in at about 25 minutes at most, as it aired in place of an episode of a series on Syfy's Ani-Monday block. That said, there's not a whole lot more if it had been full-length, or at least an hour long. For what it is though, Negadon was enjoyable enough. During it's production, a lot of attention was clearly paid to making it feel like an old-school kaiju ("gaint monster") film, like Godzilla or GAmera. Despite it being in the future, the technology (barring one giant robot) is old-school, with tanks and fighter jets right out of a 60s to 70s monster film. To extend the effect even further, fake 'film damage' such as rips and tears, and sun spots, were added on top of the CG animation, to make it look as if the film were much older than it was.

Even with all of that added though, you can tell how good the CG is. It's not quite FFVII: Advent Children caliber perhaps, but it's pretty close, at least Imagi quality.

The main drawback of this film is just what I said before - it's just too short to make you really care about the characters, all two of them, three if you count Negadon and four if you count the dead daughter. Had this been a longer film, or an actual episode for a series, it would have been much more satisfactory.

Hey, there we go. That's what we need, a nice kaiju series rather than a movie...but that's a thought for another time. This movie was good enough to keep me watching until it's end, but when it's only one program of 30 minutes total, that's not saying much.

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