Monday, February 12, 2018

Mazinger Z: INFINITY Review: Robot Punch Into My Heart

Any movie that starts off with a giant robot fight grabs your attention for an hour or two. Mazinger Z: INFINITY, based on the anime that started all robot mecha shows, gladly thrusts you into battle seeing insane looking robots get smashed and crashed. Sure, there's a dash of Japanese theology and science fiction that's completely insane for the target audience of Japanese children, but that's the charm we've come to expect from anything Japan sends over. Fart jokes with existential crisis, that's Japan. In this movie, it's just a way to make a bigger fight, so just go with it and enjoy robots getting beat up.

The experience for the screenings has nice bonus of a free mini-posters (while supplies last) if you catch the movie. The bonus Q & A from the director, character designer of the film and the original creator Go Nagai might be better to be tacked on during the credits instead of before the film. It's really oddly edited and frankly seems so forced you want it to end. I don't know why we aren't allowed to see whomever was asking them questions. It takes a second for someone to say, "Yo, I'm so-and-so and here's your first question."

After the Q & A came robot smack down time. I'll say the immediate all out attack of countless robots from the series history against one Mazinger was so great it made me sad we don't have a really popular anime mech show going on that level right now or that's popular right now in the US. I just hope Pacific Rim 2 can entertain us next month.

So the film starts off with a massive attack and for fans of the original show your welcomed back ten years from when we last left the show. So the main pilot and fighter Koji Kabuto hasn't battled in years and has become a scientist, he discovers a gigantic new Mazinger (giant robot) and we're reintroduced to his friends as well as a mysterious new girl, Lisa, who can help Koji pilot his Mazinger.

We also get the resurgence of enemies long thought dead including a delightful fellow called Dr. Hell, a man with a floating head detached from his body and a man/woman who wouldn't identify possibly as a transgender because they're split down the center?

The stakes? The World. Existence. The usual.

Credit where credit is due with some good ol' robot on robot action. Crazy designs of enemy mechas cause for your eyes to widen to see what's going on and ponder," What the heck, what kind of mech?" Before that said mech is blasted out of existence. You'll love it and want to scream out the attacks when Koji screams them out too. ROCKET PUNCH! Seeing robots pulverize each other on the big screen is always a pleasure.

For the guys, I can tell you Japan hasn't caught up with the US in terms of sexism in media. There's Mazinger girls, they're like idol/mascot/cheerleaders and they have mechs that shoot breast missiles. Bless you, Japan.

There's quite a few dull moments of the story where you really might not care what the cast is talking about. Big ideas about how humanity has it's problems, theology and of course wonky science fiction. Sometimes characters are just talking and you"ll be thinking just get into a giant robot.Other moments are just so campy they belong back in the 70's era the show was on television. Those are really the only other moments in the film when fights aren't happening.

When the time comes for a thrilling ending we have a big ol' showdown with too many mechs on screen to count. It's a little kids dream of robots going all out. Even as an adult, you'll be cheering along too. *Surprisingly, not really any bloodshed on screen that you could probably get a PG-13 rating. It's not changing the idea of mech anime and showing off something new, it's just a good time of a giant robot ripping off the heads off of other robots. Dang, we need real giant robots. Why don't we have giant robots?

You still have a chance to catch the film in theaters tonight Feb 12, 2018 at a few theaters around LA
Mazinger Z: INFINITY