Attack on Titan Part 1 (Live-Action) Review (Movie)

Attack on Titan Part 1 is a film I’ve wanted to watch for a while and from the get go I liked that it mirrored the tension and horror that the anime portrayed.
Before we continue, I’d like to point out that Oscar has reviewed this very same movie in the past, and you should give that a read if you want a separate opinion – I’ve reviewed it too for its recent release in the UK. Anyway, with that out of the way, the show goes on! The first episode of the anime, one of the strongest opening episodes to an anime I’ve seen, may not be remade here but the terrifying initial attack of the titans is a violent, intense spectacle that had me on the edge of my seat. It does deviate away from the source material (the manga, which the anime closely follows) and so it’s wise to experience this movie as something that isn’t a straight adaptation, but it’s a fun rise with great action and thrills, and I liked the characters as much as I always had.
Attack on Titan follows Eren Yaeger with a hatred for Titans as he signs up to the Survey Corps in the hopes that he can eradicate the Titans to not only save the world, but to get revenge for his childhood friend’s, Mikasa, death. We first see his village torn apart by the Titans where plenty of lives are lost before we’re taken five years into the future, which is present time for Eren, as he and his other childhood friend Armin are training to fight the Titans. It isn’t long until they get their chance to slay their first Titan, and the film races along with some stellar action scenes and convincing acting. I heard plenty of bad things about this movie but I ended up really enjoying it, and I found it to be an engrossing movie where I was rooting for the characters and mankind, and devastated when any of them fell in battle. The biggest change is swapping out fan-favourite Levi for a completely new character who fails to impress, and ends up being equally as talented by overall a massive jerk – people want to root for Levi, nobody wants to root for new captain creepy over here!
Attack on Titan 1

The movie looks fantastic in Blu-Ray with plenty of detail and some brilliant directing, and whilst I was mostly impressed with the CGI used for the Titans there were some moments where the CGI looked less than stellar – I think the way the Titans were adapted for the big screen was frightening and grotesque, and I found myself flinching whenever a human was devoured by a Titan. There’s plenty of blood and whilst there’s not anything that’s very visceral, there are a few bodies that get completely flattened and some other disgusting moments so anyone who’s squeamish at the sight of blood will want to steer clear! Some scenes in the movie had me holding my hand over my mouth in shock, with one particular scene towards the end being utterly revolting.
Attack on Titan Part 1 is only available in Japanese, which is great because nobody wants to see lip-flaps all out of sync as they would be if another language was dubbed over the original, and I’m happy with the performances on show. Haruma Miura, who plays Eren, might be recognisable as a popular Japanese actor and singer who’s a part of J-Pop group ‘Brash Brats’, and he does a terrific job at portraying Eren and his eagerness to eliminate the Titans. The supporting cast is equally as good (I actually quite liked Zoe here, despite not being much of a fan of her character in the manga and anime) and the movies choice to take Attack on Titan from Europe to Japan doesn’t lessen the impact of the movie at all.
Attack on Titan 2

I enjoyed Attack on Titan Part 1 a lot and I’d be happy to watch it again, and I’m eagerly awaiting the second movie already. Other than some small changes, most of which are minor and not worth mentioning, I found this movie to be well-paced, heavy on emotion and action and well-acted, leaving me more than impressed with it. I’d recommend it fans and non-fans as it’s a great entry point, and hopefully Manga UK will keep licensing live-action titles from Japan in future.

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