Diamond is Unbreakable is a live action retelling of part four of the long running manga, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures. A mysterious antagonist is running around with a bow and arrow which grants strange powers, eventually leading him to cross paths with the movie’s protagonist, Josuke.
This movie was made with the intention for sequels to follow. As such it only adapts the first part of the storyline on which it is based. To the movie’s credit, it does come to a natural conclusion and the plot mostly works as its own separate story. It is at its most engaging when the writing is focused on its own story. The film occasionally misses the deliberate melodrama of its source material, instead going for straightforward drama, but it succeeds in building a tense atmosphere that is characteristic of good horror. The characters all look cartoonish, but for the most part it does a good job of translating the aesthetics of the series to the medium of a live action movie. Most importantly, the fight scenes still involve a degree of outthinking and outmaneuvering your opponent instead of the characters relying on blind power.
Some failings can be found in the dynamics between characters, and the movie’s long run time. Josuke’s nephew Jotaro, for example, has a fair amount of build-up, and does inhabit a good portion of the movie, only to leave quite suddenly. In a serialised format like a manga, or with the knowledge that a sequel is supposedly coming, this isn’t so bad, but it detracts from this movie in terms of it being its own entity.
The movie has a two-hour running time, and most of this is used wisely, but it does leave the film feeling a bit bloated and occasionally somewhat directionless. This is another byproduct of the fact that is was pre-conceived as the start of a franchise. If the planned sequel does materialise, it may benefit from the setup that takes place in this film, but such scenes don’t do the film itself any favours.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable might have done better if it was allowed to be its own standalone adventure rather than the start of a franchise, but what it ended up being is still good and mostly captures the tone and style of its source material. Apart from the inclusion of trailers there are no extras to make this release essential, but the movie itself does warrant a look.
Special Features: Theatrical Trailer, Trailers
JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: DIAMOND IS UNBREAKABLE / DIRECTOR: TAKASHI MIIKE / SCREENWRITER: ITARU ERA / STARRING: KENTO YAMAZAKI, RYUNOSUKE KAMIKI, MACKENYU, YUSUKE ISEYA, MASAKI OKADA, NANA KOMATSU / CERT: 15 / RELEASE DATE: 27TH AUGUST 2018