So you are a Manga/Anime movie fan? Then you probably have already seen Gantz, and perhaps also liked it more than I did.
Gantz, pronounced as “Guns”, is a sci-fi action movie based on a manga. One manga based film that I am fond of is Death Note, which starred Kenichi Matsuyama as the iconic L. Matsuyama appears in this film together with Kazunari Ninomiya, Yuriko Yoshitaka, Kanata Hongo and many other Japanese actors that I am not familiar with.
It will take some effort to describe the plot of Gantz without confusing myself or giving too much away. A group of humans are transported into an alternate reality against their will, and they are forced to hunt aliens. We are told that this is all part of a TV reality show, but we never get to see this TV show, and apparently no one in the film has either. So what TV show?
The more sci-fi-ish explanation for this story centers on a mysterious 2001-monolith-esque black ball called Gantz. You will see what Gantz can do and what it contains, but nothing is fully explained. The humans who are part of the Gantz games are supplied with Tron suits, Halo guns and other gadgets to hunt down their targets. There is a scoring system that is the main thrust of the film, but the rules are very convoluted and sometimes just make no sense.
It’s a shame that the battles got more plain and boring as they ran along. The first alien that the characters are trying to kill looks absolutely creepy, and it got me excited to see what the other aliens look like. Unfortunately, the film looses it’s horror vibe after a while and derails into a simple shoot-em-up. I’m surprised that the film didn’t produce increasing grotesque and disgusting monsters, which would have been far more interesting then what we have here.
The biggest problem I have with Gantz is that the human characters are completely uninteresting. The main protagonist is a timid boy who later on become the hero, but I wasn’t rooting for him at all. There is a romantic side story for him but it feels so contrived and sticks out from the rest of the story. Here’s a film that I wished had taken the cynical route and killed off the hero at the end.
I thought that I would like Gantz because it’s sci-fi and has “aliens” in it, but the film simply couldn’t engage me. Do I want to watch the sequel? I rather go play Halo.