Broflix: “Appleseed Ex Machina”

My brother has a tendency to buy movies. I can’t stop him; when he wants to, he buys three or four at a time. When he buys one based on my recommendation, then I like to watch it with him to see if he likes it (and because it’s good enough that I might want to see it again).  So, this is a special edition of my Netflux review series called Broflix.

Appleseed Ex Machina is a Japanese animated movie.  I don’t really know the definition of anime, but I feel comfortable calling it that; you can correct me if you know better.  The story is science-fictional and set about 100 years in the future in a world populated by humans, cyborgs, and genetically engineered humans created specifically to run the government.  That last part freaked me out a little bit, but apparently this is not controversial in the film.

The movie is produced by John Woo, creator of such memorable Hollywood fare as Broken Arrow, Face/Off, and Mission Impossible: II.  You can definitely see his influence in the action sequences, and his trademark doves play a pretty significant part, almost an ironic reference.  The Woo-inspired action sequences at the beginning and end of the film are actually the best thing about it;  the plot can move a little slowly in the middle.

We started out watching the dubbed version in English, but eventually I convinced my brother it is much better in Japanese with English subtitles, which is true.

Even my mom eventually sat down and watched the ending with us, and she doesn’t really care for a) movies with subtitles, b) Japanese movies, or c) animated movies.  She does like the action though, and that’s what this movie is all about.  Plus, the ending of the movie isn’t particularly sad, which are the kind of movies she likes.  She and my brother commented that Japanese movies often do have sad endings.  I pledged to get her a few more subtitled movies to watch that she might like.

I definitely recommend this film to any nerd or geek or to anyone who is an action fan.  Sometimes the science fiction is out there and the plot is fairly unsophisticated, but also unassuming in a good way.   If you want to see it, ask my brother, since he apparently owns it now.


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