Black But­ler

SFX - - Cinema - An­drew Os­mond

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

15 | 119 Min­utes Direc­tors: Ken­tarō Ōtani, Kei­ichi Sato

This Ja­panese

film is a live- ac­tion ver­sion of a manga and an­ime, but with some fun­da­men­tal, fan- bait­ing changes. The other ver­sions were about a magic de­mon but­ler and his hu­man boy master in Vic­to­rian Eng­land. The film keeps the but­ler, but makes his “master” a teenage girl dis­guised as a boy, while the set­ting is changed to a dull fu­ture Asia of anony­mous build­ings and stupid gang­sters. Here, the duo in­ves­ti­gate a killer who’s mum­mi­fy­ing VIPs.

The first hour is pretty ter­ri­ble, with self- con­scious act­ing, so- so fights and an air of chronic silli­ness. How­ever, it im­proves no­tably in the sec­ond half, be­com­ing fun, ex­cit­ing and even touch­ing in the de­noue­ment. How­ever, it’s only worth try­ing if you know Black But­ler al­ready; new­bies will be lost.

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