Har­lock: Space Pirate

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated dvd & blu-ray -

Un­der­whelm­ing space opera

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2013 | 15 | Blu- ray 3D/ DVD Direc­tor: Shinji Ara­maki Cast: Shun Oguri, Harumi Miura, Yu Aoi, Arata Fu­ruta, Maaya Sakamoto

De­spite the

ti­tle, space pirate Cap­tain Har­lock isn’t the star of this CG anime spec­tac­u­lar. No, it’s his cool pirate ship, an in­ter­ga­lac­tic Fly­ing Dutch­man em­bossed with a skull, lung­ing shark- like out of black clouds ( yes, in space). The film’s press notes in­voke the grandeur of The Dark Knight, but the style ends up feel­ing silly, more like the Bat­man of The Lego Movie.

In anime, Cap­tain Har­lock has been a space hero since the ’ 70s, an an­ar­chist buc­ca­neer. In past in­car­na­tions he of­ten fought aliens, but in this re­boot his beef ’s with hu­man­ity – though his agenda’s only fully ex­plained mid­way through the film. The story opens in­ter­est­ingly, with a youth join­ing Har­lock’s crew who’s ac­tu­ally a spy out to kill the Cap. The spec­ta­cle is jolly good; it’s mo­tion- cap­tured re­al­ism, with in­evitable com­par­isons to videogame cutscenes, but it has a lurid splen­dour. There are rip­pling capes, jewel- eyed aliens and, of course, that pirate ship.

Un­for­tu­nately, it soon gets bor­ing. The char­ac­ters don’t come alive, mean­ing that by the time we get to the big space bat­tles, there’s noth­ing to care about. The plot’s al­most as silly as Jupiter As­cend­ing, and Har­lock’s il­log­i­cal ac­tions sug­gest not an an­ar­chist but an id­iot. For a bet­ter Ja­panese space opera, see the live- ac­tion Space Bat­tle­ship Yamato.

Ex­tras: Just a Mak­ing Of. An­drew Os­mond

You should see the state of his back.

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