Thursday, December 29, 2011


Gantz is a film that shows you what it would be like if you were a video game character. It would be hell. The film is based on an anime and for my money it greatly improves on the source material in two ways. First, it knocked off a lot of bullshit female humiliation scenes that were in the original.  I swear, did the original author ever date?  Anyway, a lot of that crap was removed and all to the good.  The second reason it's better is simple because it is live action.  It makes its point better with living, breathing actors than with characters designed to look exactly like they came out of an action game.

So what is Gantz?

Well, it's a system as much as anything.  Image this:  you are going about your day happy and ignorant and suddenly a piano drops from the sky hitting you on the old noggin.  You know in those final seconds that you are dead and ;your eyes close to see the bright light and hopefully the five people you'll meet in heaven.  Unfortunately, you wake up in an apartment.  A nice one, but still that's a strange afterlife.  There are people all around you with the same look of befuddlement.  In the middle of the room is a huge black sphere, sort of a hyper thryoidal bowling ball.  Things get freakier as everyone says that they have died as well.  You try to leave but you can't.  Suddenly, cheery music comes from the sphere.  It has the same effect that suddenly hearing the Barney song in the middle of a burning house would have.  Words then appear on the ball saying in effect, "You are dead, now you are mine, deal."  Then more words and the sphere tells you that you have to kill the onion alien who can be recognized by its stink.  You begin to wonder if God himself is punking you when the sphere then opens up revealing weapons and odd suits that you should probably wear.  Don't delay though because suddenly you are teleported somewhere else and the game begins.

This is the situation our heroes come into and the film is about how they deal and don't deal with it.  The rules of the game aren't printed on the side of the box, so they have to figure things out on their own.  More importantly they have to figure how to live their lives when not playing Gantz's game.  Though they are living, they know they have died and worse they know that at any moment they can die in one of Gantz's stupid hunts.  How do you keep relationships with others with that over your head.  How do keep from feeling alienated?

Over all this is a good film with some thought and good action spread through out it.  If I ever play a video game again I'll be kinder to my little avatars, that's for sure.

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