The second part of Shinji Higuchi’s Attack on Titan live-action adaptation of the iconic anime, End of the World, wasn’t met with much fanfare upon its release. Neither was its predecessor, come to think of it. When it was announced that these films were in production, there was a lot of excitement among anime fans even though it was always going to be difficult to translate the original source material to the big screen and keep fans happy. And going by the reaction up until now, both efforts must be marked down as fails in comparison to their source material. However, when taken on their own merits they’re both actually quite fun.
End of the World opens with the events from the previous film being recounted. This immediately sets the tone for what’s to come, as the film is ultimately bogged down by exposition all the way through. In this movie, teenager Eren (Haruma Miura) is forced to grow up and take on the Titan giants that are ravaging the lands before they wipe out humanity completely. It’s a classic tale of standing up to the tyranny of evil overlords, but it won’t go down as a classic like some other films of this ilk.
What made the first film so wildly engaging was its splendid visuals and gruesome carnage. There’s just something so sinisterly satisfying about seeing puny humans being crushed like ants by colossal beasts. Perhaps it didn’t have the most cohesive narrative, but it was entertaining nonetheless. With End of the World, we are forced to endure moments of stale melodrama in an attempt to flesh out a backstory that isn’t really needed, since the film’s main strengths is witnessing grand feats of destruction and a regular supply of senseless violence. End of the World still has these moments, though not quite as spectacularly as the first film.
Overall, this is worth picking up when it goes down in price. The visuals are absolutely spellbinding, due in no part to the expertise of Higuchi. If he had a better script to work with these movies could have been something special, but there is still enjoyment to be found in both despite their flaws. End of the World is a watchable missed opportunity.
ATTACK ON TITAN II: END OF THE WORLD / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: SHINJI HIGUCHI / SCREENPLAY: TOMOHIRO MACHIYAMA, YUSUKE WATANABE / STARRING: HARUMA MIURA, HIROKI HASEGAWA, KANATA HONGO, KIKO MIZUHARA, TAKAHIRO MIURA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW