2.5/10 Based on the Japanese manga series “Saint Seiya” AKA “Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac”, this movie adaptation comes off as cheesy, cartoonish and like it should have stayed in the manga/anime format. It wasn’t until after I saw the movie that I realized there are two seasons on Netflix of the anime, which began in 2020 but the original 28 volume run ran from 1986 to 1990. Normally I would have at least watched the two anime seasons on Netflix before seeing this movie and comparing the two but since I don’t follow anime/manga properties, I had no idea until I saw the opening credits of this movie that this intellectual property goes back to before I was born. No matter how good or bad the original manga or any anime shows that followed are, this movie is an abject failure. From cheesy visual effects to bland characters to nonsensical plot elements, this movie may very well be for die hard fans of the series but for anyone not familiar with this franchise, you will want to steer clear, which audiences have judging by the horrific box office results. The movie cost $60 million (!!) and has grossed just over $5.5 million worldwide so far, with only $952,000 coming domestically as of this posting. Not even a large Japanese audience turnout will save this debacle from losing Sony Pictures tens of millions of dollars, as they should for green lighting such a horrific script into production. The plot feels like a discarded “Dragon Ball Z” episode (another anime that had a live action adaptation bomb hard) and the lead character Seiya (Mackenyu, nepo baby of the legendary Sonny Chiba) is a complete Mary Sue but even blander. Mackenya, unlike his late father, has no screen presence or chemistry with any other actors in the movie and appears as generic as a leading man can be. The bigger names in the cast like Sean Bean (as Alman Kido) and Famke Janssen (Vander Guraad) phone in their performances and are only here for the easy paycheck. With the lone exception of Madison Iseman as Sienna, the performances are either horrendous (like Diego Tinoco as Nero or Mark Dacascos as Mylock) or phoned in like Bean, Janssen or Nick Stahl’s performance as Cassios. While a few moments have decent visual effects (which is where I assume most of the budget went), the vast majority of the movie looks horrible. A car chase early on in the movie is especially egregious. As for the plot, one element sees Sienna not being able to control her “cosmo”, which is a special energy inside of her which can be used as a weapon. The problem for our protagonists is when her cosmo flares up, the enemy can track its origin and locate our protagonists who are trying to lay low and avoid detection. The compound where Sienna resides with her father Alman has black panels that come down over the windows, preventing her cosmo from being detected by the villains. However, since her cosmo can seemingly flare up at any time, she basically has to remain in the compound at all times. The incredibly stupid moments come when Sienna goes outside for a beach side chat with Seiya or later when she wants to talk to him, so instead of taking him to her room, she gets on a bike and they ride into town. By leaving the compound and potentially exposing her cosmo flare ups which would lead the villains right to them, she not only endangers herself but her father and all of those around her. Her selfishness and stupidity became hard to overlook as she put all of her loved ones in danger. Another asinine element is that all of the evil henchmen wear bullet proof suits, which Alman knows and Mylock has some special bullets for his weapons to penetrate their armor. However, none of the other guards in the compound are given these bullets so they have absolutely no way to stop the henchmen once they arrive. Alman setting them all up for failure by having virtually no defense should they be discovered was incredibly stupid and had me rolling my eyes. This movie has cliché training sequences that slowed the movie to a crawl and we’ve seen similar scenes (in similar locations) in far superior films before. There is some decent direction during a few of the fight scenes and Iseman stands out but otherwise, it is easy to see why this movie has been the biggest bomb in Japan since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not even worth streaming when it comes to VOD/streaming platforms, go watch David Fincher’s 2007 masterpiece “Zodiac” instead. While it has absolutely nothing to do with this movie other than sharing one word in the title, watching a masterpiece and avoiding this garbage will certainly be doing you a favor.

#FightsOfTheManiac / #NeroDarkThirty / #StahlForTime / #MusicByTheAlmanFathersBand / #YellowDeath / #SeiyaLater

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