8/10 I rarely get to see premieres of a film before it debuts for the general public but was lucky enough to see this film two weeks before its wide release. The trailers didn’t do a whole lot for me and a lot of movies based off of animes or mangas haven’t done so well at the box office (i.e.- “The Ghost in the Shell”). Box office tracking suggests this film is struggling to break even at the box office but I am here to tell you that I really hope it does well financially because this is a really fun, beautiful film that I hope people will give a shot. Despite the trailers not doing a lot for me, I am a big fan of director Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City”, “From Dusk Till Dawn”, “Machete”) and this project was originally supposed to be directed (and is now produced) by James Cameron. I went in skeptical but hopeful and can gladly say this film delivers. The story has some clichés as we have seen this kind of underdog/chosen one with a dash of class warfare in several films before (even the recent “Mortal Engines” had multiple elements of this) but what sets this apart is how visually stunning everything is, the amazing fight choreography, brilliant cinematography, fun nature of the film and that it doesn’t try to be anything it is not. The pacing is great and you are entertained the entire time as you get to know these fun characters and the visually lush world that the film takes place in. My biggest complaints besides some story clichés would be that I did not buy Jennifer Connelly’s character arc at all. I won’t go into specifics because of spoilers but her character moves around a lot and the believability and motives behind it were not convincing to me. Also, the floating world that the poor people down below strive to get to is never really seen or explored and even if for a brief period, it would have been nice to explore that part of the world so we as the audience could see why it is so appealing to all of these regular people who want to go there so badly. Besides this minor issues though, after sitting through hours of slow, serious, dramatic Oscar nominated films, this is such a fun breath of fresh air to really turn off your brain and enjoy an extremely technically well made film with some of the best visual effects I have ever seen, terrific action, some heart to it and an overall very memorable film. It ends a little abruptly but this is a film I would go revisit again and I hope enough people see it because really does deserve to become a hit.
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