Apr 22, 2008
Blank (All reviews)
In a word: Disappointing.

I was told this was cyberpunk and expect a dark film. Just reading about it, it would appear that the film is spot on in earning a post-cyberpunk moniker. Perverted uptopia? Check. Mecha/Human enhancements? Check. Violence? Check. Electronic soundtrack? Check. Rainy/depressing environments? Check.

The beginning of the film lives up to these expectations, as well. It opens with a random battle that sets a mood the rest of the movie doesn't follow. Appleseed is too happy, too shallow, too cheesy, and too dull to be considered cyberpunk. The story is very shallow and predictable. Plot twists are figured out long before they are revealed. The artwork is merely mediocre. I'm not necessarily biased against their choice of making everything 3D, but it doesn't really compare to the handdrawn awesomeness mixed with 3D goodness that is Ghost in the Shell, a series many compare Appleseed to.

The soundtrack is laughably cheesy. The original, "orchestral" compositions are pitiful and sound like they were done in Fruity Loops. The music brought in from popular electronic artists is a lot better, but frequently doesn't fit the mood of the visuals. Sound effects were brilliant, however.

I kept expecting the movie to get better, but the ending isn't really any better than the beginning.

Others have mentioned this is indeed lighter fare, but the action sequences make it worth watching as a mindless action flick. I'm confused, however, because the action is quite brief and downplayed. What is present is talking, and lots of it. They talk so much, but the plot is still so simple. What gives?

In short, don't watch this movie expecting to be sucked into a dark, cyberpunk world with a brilliant story. Don't watch this movie expecting to be dazzled by 3D animation. Don't watch this movie for the fight sequences.

Good things:
- Great sound effects
- Cool electronic music
- Some intense, wince-inducing hand-to-hand combat
- Beautiful cityscapes

Bad things:
- Shallow, predictable, boring story
- Shallow, under-developed characters
- Not enough action, too much talking
- Music rarely fit the mood of the scene
- Too happy for "cyberpunk"
- 3D animation doesn't fit the characters very well