May 8, 2014
Flawfinder (All reviews)
Holy shit! Yoshiura Yasuhiro’s new movie is finally out! Two years after those “previews that were actually the beginning of the entire movie” were released, the actual product has finally been subbed and made available to us filthy pirates. Does it live up to the hype? Was it as mind-blowing as we expected it to be?

Okay, let’s keep this frank, short, and (mostly) spoiler-free: Patema Inverted is painfully boring to me. I didn’t care one bit about what was happening in this movie and for a film that was 98 minutes long, it sure felt pretty fucking long. The whole movie has the same basic problem as everything else made by this guy: cool ideas, but it feels unfinished. In fact, as I was watching the movie, I realized that it was practically a remake of Castle in the Sky from the mysterious girl falling from the sky (or in this movie’s case, the ground) to the evil organization pursuing her complete with laughable main bad guy (who’s nowhere near as charismatic as the one voiced by Mark Hamill in the English dub) to the main dude having a dead dad to the land in the sky to…you see where I’m going with this? Now copying Castle in the Sky isn’t inherently a bad thing considering it’s a personal favorite of mine, but that only works if it’s as good. Or at least gets the basics right.

Unfortunately, it does not. I appreciate how the movie was trying to go for a somber, yet magical feel in regards to the inverted people and whatnot, but the atmosphere and directorial tricks got old quickly, and I was left with what felt like a beautifully made skeleton. I didn’t get why I was supposed to care about these characters because aside from the beginning used to flesh out the main girl, Patema, the film never really gave me a reason to care about them. There’s a lot of subtle hints and all to their backstory, but they felt kind of childish, and their personalities as a whole weren’t strong enough for me to get into.

As for the story itself? Poorly handled “bad guys want to find some mysterious people and profit from them whilst one man on their side wants to help said people” stuff. It never really goes beyond that premise aside from the fact that these mysterious people live on opposite gravitational fields to us, to the point that they might as well have been aliens from outer space. Lame.

The visuals are pretty damn great and the indie-like cinematography is cool, even if it gets too blurry-cam for me at times, so I’d recommend seeing this film at least once for that alone. There’s also a pretty funny joke where the film plays with its musical score. But yeah, all that buzz about how Patema Inverted was a massive step-down in scope compared to Time of Eve and whatnot? They’re true, and unfortunately, it’s not the kind of “simple” I enjoy.