When I first bought (impulsively) and watched Metropolis
for the first time quite a few years ago, I remember disliking it quite
a bit. All these years later, I finally decided to give it another
shot. It's based on a Manga that's based on the original dystopian
flick of the same name from the 1920s. It's a futuristic tale where
robots and humans live together, but not in harmony. The massive city
Now, while I still don't think this movie is a masterpiece, I appreciated it a lot more than I remember doing the first time. The animation is done very well (though a bit too cartoonish, if that makes sense, with the overly large noses on some characters). Though the action of the movie looks great and stylish, especially with anything Rock does. The music, I thought, was very fitting. Most of it falls somewhere in the vicinity of the 1920-1950s, and at least half of it is jazzy. The song during the climax scene was done very well and works really nicely with all the destruction and such.
The problem with the movie rests with the characters and the plot. I'll start with the characters: For being around each other so much, they barely interact. And when they do, it's usually Tima repeating ‘Kenichi' over and over again. There's no character development or connection. I really don't feel anything for any of the characters. It's just kind of like... they're there.
As for the plot, it really feels like there was a lot missing. The movie could have been longer than it was, really (which might have helped with character development). For instance, Kenichi and Tima start off together in area 3 with this cleaning robot. The next thing we know, they're leaving area 3, and they've nicknamed the robot ‘fifi' for no apparent reason. And they get this big attachment to the robot, yet there wasn't shown enough interaction for it to really show us. Similarly, a little bit later, Kenichi and Tima come across a group of resistance fighters. But we aren't shown them actually meeting or introducing each other. There's about two or three minutes talking about how they want to overthrow the government... and the next thing we know, we're seeing a full-out coup d'etat. There were no forms of transitions anywhere in there. Nothing. It felt like there was 30 minutes of the movie just missing, like there should be a whole section of the movie with Tima and Kenichi hanging out and talking with the resistance guys. And there are other scenes and moments just like those throughout the movie.
Not to mention that the case the detective dude is trying to solve isn't a mystery to the viewers, as we saw everything that happened. Detective mysteries are only effective if both the detective and the audience are equally in the dark and have to figure it out simultaneously. Otherwise, it's boring and silly.
So really, if you're a fan of anime or sci-fi (such as Blade Runner), watch this one, if anything, for the animation style, the atmosphere, and the music. The story itself isn't too bad, but there's a lot lacking. A bit more length could have helped this issue, as well as character development and such. The good and the bad really kind of cancel each other out, for the most part. And although I'd like to give it one notch higher, I'm afraid the whole movie just doesn't cut it enough to grant it that score.