As the Gods Will (神さまの言うとおり) (aliens master Battle Royale)

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Flumble
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As the Gods Will (神さまの言うとおり) (aliens master Battle Royale)

Postby Flumble » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:16 am UTC

Does this deserve its own topic? Even Battle Royale doesn't have its own topic and it was much more a cult hit than this, so... probably.

It's a film about gods/aliens appearing out of nowhere in classrooms and then playing children's games with the students, except you are blown to smithereens if you lose. And a lot of students lose.

The CGI is nicely done, by which I mean there's quite a lot of it, yet it blends perfectly with the environment in every shot. (I know, this is standard in Hollywood blockbusters, but I bet this film didn't have a 200 million USD budget. Actually, I can't find anything about the budget.)
The comical depiction of the gods/aliens and the killing contrasts the grim setting excellently. The scenery grows ever more vibrant and comical throughout the film, while the atmosphere grows ever dimmer. It's as twisted as one of the antagonists, Ayame.
Also, you can easily tell the characters apart as a non-Asian!* Well, I mean their physical appearance, most of them are expendable bulks of flesh necessary to advance the plot killing spree.
The soundtrack is subtle as you know it, except for the moments when a game involves singing of course.

So much for the good aspects. The plot is game-flashback-game-flashback-game-game or something like that and the only reason for the flashbacks is the romantic subplot. Since I didn't really care for any of the characters (comprising {extremely dense idiots, cannon fodder and screaming girls}, the sociopath and the hero), the romantic plot felt overdone.
Speaking of characters, there are basically only 3 main characters with traits: the hero, the sociopath and the hero's love interest. The hero does hero-y things, the sociopath helps out at the wrong times to keep only the hero alive and laugh maniacally at other kills and the love interest starts out doing hero-y things and then becomes the damsel in distress. The rest is shreeking dead weight.
For a simple action movie in which "collateral damage" is off-handed easily, this is not a problem. But this film wants you to feel something when yet another one of the students die, so give them something of a characterization for god's will! Or I'm completely mistaken and the film only wants you to feel bad only for the characters that still await their execution. But the film doesn't hint at the "why do I have to experience all this suffering instead of dying a swift death?" trope at all.

The reason why you should watch it though, is because it has a motherf***ing snow-half-pipe-surfing sculpted polar bear with a backpack full of animated wooden fish in it.


*I may be extremely biased, but the "arr rook same!" stereotype held up in the life-action Death Note films, which are the only Japanese life-action films I've seen to date.

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