Went to see Steamboy yesterday. (And yes, this has become a movie mini-review site.) I won’t say it was terrible, but it was disappointing. It may be that old nemessis: overly high expectations. If I could just convince myself to go to movies with very low expectations, I’d probably enjoy more of them.
The reason for the high expectations was simple enough: the art (probably more than the story) in both Akira and Metropolis was stunning, and I have a prediliction for steampunk anyway (which ties into a lot of other interests, including mechanical computing and futurism), and so, I naturally had high hopes.
Unfortunately, this feels as if it is a tribute to those earlier films, without adding all that much to them. Among its largely positive reviews, many laud the art and the premise. There are scenes, particularly some of the dark interior scenes from the castle, that are breathtaking. However, the themes (related to the pursuit of science and war) are facile, the story feels as if it is thrown together, and the characters–I don’t think there really are any. Of course, it’s anime, and so charictures are sometimes a stand-in for characters, but at least there should be some there there.