Giant humanoids have infiltrated the outer walls and cause chaos and destruction in their wake. These beings known as Titans have returned in full force after a long period of peace in the land. Armed with vertical maneuvering equipment, the military regiment attempts to defeat these monstrosities and reclaim their land. Even with advanced technology designed to combat the Titans, soldiers are obliterated with the swat of a giant hand. When hope seems all but lost, a beacon of hope rises from the rubble.
Attack On Titan: Part 2 opens up with a review of what transpired in the first half of this epic saga. The films center around the Scout Regiment and their goals to recover land from the Titans through direct combat if needed. Eren, a member of this military faction, appeared to give his life in order to save friend and fellow Scout Armin. While the other members of the regiment are overtaken with grief, they do not have time to mourn their fallen comrade. Just as hope begins to dwindle and the giant humanoids continue their massacre, a new Titan erupts from inside the same creature that devoured Eren. Somehow Eren has become the thing he hates most in this world, but he uses that to his advantage. He begins to destroy every Titan in his wake. Eren eliminates all Titan threats in the proximity, but then turns his attention on his former allies. It takes his long time friend and fellow Scout member Mikasa, to calm his Titan rage.
Eren awakens to find himself back in human form, restrained by chains and surrounded by an armed military. Commander Kubal interrogates Eren and decides the best line of action would be execution. As the execution squad raises their weapons, Armin pleads for his friend. In a losing battle against the Titans, Eren’s newfound ability may be just what they need to win this war. While a heated discussion ensues, the Armored Titan breaks through the top of the structure and steals Eren away. Upon waking up in yet another new location, Eren finds himself face to face with Captain Shikishima. Shikishima explains that he saved Eren from the Armored Titan and then begins to educate him about the true origins of the Titans.
After learning about how Titans came to be, Eren joins Shikishima in his quest to eliminate the Titans and make a better world. Eren is reunited with Armin, Mikasa and the other members of their faction. Armin explains his idea to use the bomb they found before the Titans arrived in order to seal the breach in the outer wall. Shikishima declares the bomb is now property of his military faction and explains his alternative use of the weapon. The two parties not only battle over the ownership of the bomb, but the possible future of mankind.
The film culminates in a battle between the diminished Scout Regiment and the Colossal Titan. The victor will decide the fate of the entire human population. Eren must try to use his Titan abilities to defend his home. Loyalties are tested, allies betray and former enemies perform acts of redemption.
It’s always hard to translate anime into live action. There will always be a comparison to the original content which in this case, sets the bar fairly high. With that being said, there are some redeeming qualities to this live action adaptation. The set pieces are very well done. There was never a time where I felt the characters were not in the world they were trying to display. The massive scale of the film was not lost on the set designers and the scenes come across well. Another strength of the film are the Titans when they are done properly. All of the Titans that translate well to this live action adaptation share the proper use of prosthetic and CGI. The Eren, Armored and Colossal Titans all looked as though they came right out of the anime. They are just as terrifying and powerful as they are in the original show. The fight scenes are engaging and retain their sense of high stakes.
If you are looking for a direct adaptation from the animated series, this is not the film for you. Personalities are completely different from the anime and in some cases, new characters are created to replace beloved ones. Mikasa and Eren are so distant in this film. Compared to being almost family in the series, this distant departure from source material is confusing and frustrating. Captain Shikishima goes through quite a few personality shifts in the film that don’t make clear sense all while taking the place of fan favorite character Levi.
The titans that don’t use facial prosthesis or have CGI to distort their body shapes, just look like normal people walking around in front of a green screen. Some scenes with the titans are done so poorly that you are completely taken out of the film. It’s confusing because some scenes with the Titans are done so well and others feel like they were done by a completely different film production. Other issues include over acting and poor music choice that take you out of several moments throughout the film. Attack On Titan: The Movie Part 2 has some exciting action scenes and is visually impressive at times, but doesn’t quite compare to the far superior anime. If you’re a fan of B Movies however, this is definitely worth a watch.
Box Set Content
The box set comes with Blu-ray, DVD and digital copies. The box art is fantastic and throws you right into the Attack On Titan universe. The film can be watched in both Japanese and English. The extras include trailers and teasers.