God's left his Heaven, all's wrong with the world.
I really hated this movie. It's a spit on the face of the Evangelion franchise and completely ruins my hopes for the Rebuilds being worthwhile at all.
I already didn't like a lot of things about 2.0, like how it treated the characters in a very archetypical manner (like Asuka, who was pretty much just turned into a generic tsundere with very little depth), but Eva 3.0 manages to build upon the shitty things in 2.0 and ruin the characters even further by not only making everyone into a bunch of inconsiderate assholes that treat Shinji like crap and refuse to explain anything to him even though that could potentially ensure that he doesn't fuck things up again, but also by making every character lose about 20 points of IQ and start acting like complete imbeciles. Asuka turned into an edgelord with unrealistic anime-worthy dialogue (something very uncharacteristic of Eva) that still acts like a child even though she's 28 years old with more than a decade of life experience on a post-apocalyptic world, and Kaworu turned into pointless yaoi fanservice. Shinji became possibly the biggest idiot of the bunch, even more than he already was in the last movie, which I guess was a decision originally made to appease the people that didn't understand the point of his character in NGE and complained about how he didn't have a "backbone" or whatever, so they just turned him into a complete fucking numbskull who acts like a generic shounen protagonist with a badly developed hero complex that just does things on his own accord despite everyone trying to tell him how it's going to ruin everything, like trying to save Rei with the fucking power of friendship in 2.0 (not even exaggerating here, that's pretty much exactly what happens in that sequence). I think it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the once incredible cast of characters has been ruined beyond repair.
As others have already pointed out, 3.0 was a gigantic cop-out. A lot of things in it made no sense whatsoever and it relies entirely on the next movie to explain EVERYTHING. It throws completely random and nonsensical terms and imagery at your face and expects you to just accept it. The only instance where they try to explain anything is during the ridiculous exposition scene with Fuyutsuki playing shogi with Shinji which was just laughable, it's as if Anno realised "Oh fuck, there's actually a lot of stuff I need to explain for anything to make any sense and I already wasted a bunch of time with pandering fanservice and shitty action scenes, I better just throw in a random expository scene where Fuyutsuki explains a bunch of already-known information to the audience (except the whole "Shinji's memory got erased" thing, which came out of nowhere and made no sense). Yeah, that oughta make 'em happy".
Some would say that as long as the fourth movie explains everything then it's not that big of an issue, but that leads to a few questions. First, isn't a movie supposed to stand on its own? Because it was not fun at all to just watch 90 minutes of completely pointless and nonsensical bullshit. The same people would say that that's exactly the point, that we were supposed to feel like shit just like Shinji, in which case I have to say that was a job very well done, since the movie managed to make me feel frustrated and annoyed and didn't provide anything close to an entertaining or meaningful experience. Second, you do realise that thanks to this film they're gonna have to waste a bunch of time in 3.0+1.0 dumping exposition to explain everything, time that could've been better spent actually making a good movie, especially considering the fact that it's going to be the one that closes off the entire Evangelion franchise? And lastly, there's some stuff that just can't be repaired, like how the characters have been completely ruined by this point.
And while I'm on the subject of terrible characters, let me just quickly talk about Mari. She is the Jar Jar Binks of Evangelion. She's by far the worst character in this entire movie series, she doesn't fit the franchise at all, every time she's on screen I lose a little bit of my will to live, and seems like she's just there to provide some fanservice for the inane morons who always complain about how the characters in NGE are "bad" because they can't see a well-written and complex character if they smack them in the face, so they just shoehorned some generic cute/quirky waifu-bait anime girl into the series to keep those idiots entertained as if they were dangling keys in front of a baby. I've seen some people saying that that's also exactly the point behind her character, that she's supposed to criticize the escapist otaku who only care about these kinds of shitty characters, but whether that's the intention or not, I would have to repeat the same thing I said for the whole "making you feel like crap to emulate Shinji's feelings": it doesn't work the way it's intended, it's not smart, it's not well-communicated, and it just takes away from my enjoyment. Even if you're making a bad character "ironically", she's still terrible and annoying nonetheless.
I also think there is a considerable tonal problem with this movie. It seems like they were trying to make it way more serious than the last two movies and maybe even trying to somewhat match the extremely serious tone of EoE, but on the other hand this movie has so many things that feel light-hearted, out of place, and even unintentionally funny at times, like Kaworu's death, which was hilariously badly executed and reminds me of Darth Vader screaming "Noooooooo!!!" in Star Wars Episode III from how cheesy it was with its attempt at being dramatic. Think about Asuka's final stand in EoE, that fight has so much weight to it, when it comes to both the visual aspect and to her character arc, it's extremely violent but the violence doesn't really feel like it's there just to "look cool", it actually feels very fitting to the tone they were going for, the whole fight manages to feel both over-the-top and realistic/grounded at the same time. 3.0's action scenes on the other hand feel very meaningless and "show-offy", like they were not even trying to make them feel grounded or tonally consistent with the rest of the movie in any way and just tried to make them as ridiculous and over-the-top as possible. Then there are things like how Mari just appears to sing in a "cute" manner and to bounce her tits at the screen every now and then. It seems like this movie just doesn't know what it wants to be, and it feels very messy and inconsistent as a result.
The whole movie is also just really boring and slow-paced, and felt like a giant waste of time. Fucking NOTHING happens throughout pretty much its entire second act. This entire movie has about as much content as episode 24 of the show. There are also so many lengthy, drawn out, badly directed and pointless action scenes where you just have no idea what's going on and don't understand why you're supposed to care about anything or anyone. Never start your movie off with a half-an-hour prologue consisting mostly of action scenes that makes up almost a third of the entire runtime where it's very hard and confusing to follow or care about what's happening.
I usually hear people praising how this movie looks, but that's something that I find hard to agree with. I didn't hate the visuals or anything, but I think there are a few things to mention, like why did they completely change the artstyle and even the fucking aspect ratio from all of the other movies? The last two movies had an artstyle that was, in my opinion, a fairly decent update on the classic one (minus the shitty CG), but the new one simply doesn't look very good. I just don't see the point in changing it, especially considering we're in the middle of the movie series. The old characters look really weird and there are some new characters on Wille's bridge crew with absolutely terrible designs (like that big-lipped pink haired girl) that look NOTHING like Evangelion and who just act like annoying archetypical anime characters, it fits the franchise so little that it hurts. Anyway, it's clear to me that they were trying to go for this dark and gothic "third-impacty" aesthetic, but the visuals are way too clean, sanitized, and artificial for it to work, it looks overly "digital" and it just feels like it's lacking all of the grittiness from EoE, which is a visual style they were clearly trying to replicate here. And like the last two movies, there is so much fucking CG that it makes my eyes bleed. Every single action scene overuses CG to a ridiculous extent. What happened to the amazing sakuga in the original series and EoE? I want to see things like Asuka's fight against the mass produced Evas again, not the assault on my eyes that is the CG in the Rebuilds, especially considering that their budget and time is pretty much infinite, so that's not an excuse.
I think the only thing that I enjoyed about this was the soundtrack. 3.0 had such a great amount of potential, after all it was supposed to cover some of the best episodes from the original TV series (eps. 20-24). I didn't even care that much about the timeskip, they could've used that opportunity to do some really interesting stuff with the plot and characters, but this is what they fucking come up with...
Everything in this movie feels extremely forced, it's trying it's damn hardest at every point to be Evangelion but it just doesn't understand what makes Eva what it is or what makes it so good in the first place. It's Eva as if it was made by a 14 year old who watched EoE and thought all that movie had going for it were the dark/trippy visuals. This whole thing feels like a mocking parody of Evangelion made by some imbecile who doesn't really understand the original and thinks the entire franchise is just meaningless gibberish and nonsense and hasn't got any logic behind anything whatsoever, while thinking "let's make the most confusing and nonsensical movie possible with terrible, annoying characters since that's what Eva is all about, and then let's add some pandering fanservice and generic action scenes because that's what it needed to be good."
And just as a final note, all of these theories about 3.0 and the rebuilds in general being a "deconstruction" and meta-commentary on the Evangelion franchise as a whole are of very little importance to me, since the underlying themes don't really matter if they're not accompanied by an actual good piece of media. End of Evangelion, for example, was still an absolutely amazing experience to me even without being able to fully grasp its deeper themes/messages at first, and it doesn't suffer from any of the problems that this movie does. If EoE wasn't as incredible as it was and relied entirely on its themes to succeed as a movie, but was a boring, nonsensical, frustrating, incompetent, inconsistent, badly executed mess, then I would be saying the same thing about it.
What the fuck happened, Anno? How did you go from making one of the absolute best anime of all time to this? Do you just not care anymore?
3.0+1.0 is gonna have to be the biggest masterpiece of all time to make up for this clusterfuck, and we all know that's not gonna happen.
God help us all.