Picking up where GANTZ left off – Kei, along with other people who had died, had been brought back to life by a giant sentient orb called GANTZ. They are teleported into Tokyo to accomplish missions, executing aliens that are living among us. When Kei’s friend Kato is killed on a mission, he vows to earn the 100 points needed to resurrect him.
Now however, the aliens are actively reacting to GANTZ’s soldiers and are taking steps to take their revenge...
Based on a popular adult anime, the original film adaptation suffered somewhat from pacing. There was way too much talking in between the action, while the action itself was often poorly rendered.
The sequel builds upon everything the first film got right, and improves greatly on what I felt it got wrong. In addition, GANTZ Perfect Answer gives us one incredible set piece and a gut-wrenching finale.
The sequel also expands greatly on what is going on beyond alien-killing missions and collecting points. First there is super-model Eriko Ayukawa , who is being commanded by GANTZ to kill specific people so that they can be resurrected and recruited. Then there is police detective Masamitsu Shigeta, who has uncovered certain aspects of what is going on and perhaps a Government conspiracy to cover up that they know about GANTZ. And then there is the fact that Koto seems to be up and walking around, even though he is meant to be “dead” and Kei’s motive for continuing with the missions.
This is all a bit head-scratching at times but all is forgiven when the big mission kicks off. By this stage, we are aware of the “Men in Black” aliens and the fact that they have clued into Eriko Ayukawa’s role in proceedings and are following her, onto a subway train. The GANTZ warriors are teleported to the same train, and a complete and utter bloodbath ensues. There are a hell of a lot of people involved in the long and bloody and kinetic fight, and its the sort of thing that Hollywood would get completely wrong. But you are never unsure about who is fighting what, or what the stakes are. The scene’s grace note comes when Kei is thrown through the window of the moving train onto the platform, rolls across the ground and as he stands up sees Tai ( his maybe girlfriend) is on the train as well, and must do everything he can to get back onto the damn train! It’s an incredible sequence.
One of the things I like about this film is that it tends to show the human cost of all the cool action we’re enjoying. Through detective Shigeta’s newspaper clippings, we get an impression of unexplained disasters (results of GANTZ battles), while we witness the emergency response to the massacre on the train.
To say the ending packs a punch is a bit of an understatement. A late revelation about GANTZ sets up an end-game which not only pits the GANTZ warriors against the aliens, but also potentially against each other, depending how desperate they are. I cannot emphasise enough how much the final sequences are different to anything you would see in a mainstream film in the US. This will emotionally gut you, then throw you into one of the most intense gun-battles ever, before finally, almost begrudgingly, gives us a bittersweet ending.
Big budget action, ultra-violence and a gut-wrenching finale make this a must-watch, regardless what you thought of the first instalment. Highly recommended.
8 out of 10 (MikeOutWest)
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