Space Battleship Yamato (film)
Review by Jen Wang
The live-action adaption of the classic anime, Space Battleship Yamato, has all the potential to be an epic space opera. A malevolent alien species called Gamilas threatens the existence of humanity, which decides to bank its chances on a Hail Mary mission carried out by the oddball crew of the Yamato. There’s cool special effects, tense action scenes, moments of tragedy and humor, and even a dash of romance. The promise the film shows in the beginning, however, ends up petering out into clichés and heavy-handed melodrama.
Takuya Kimura plays the perfectly-coiffed reluctant hero, Susumu Kodai. His lonely life is turned upside down by a bizarre accident. Despite having no love for the military, he re-enlists to help out Yamato‘s crew, most of whom welcome him with open arms and a few drinks. Only Yuki Mori (Meisa Kuroki), the young ace pilot with a mean right hook, treats him coldly. There’s no explanation for the familiarity and her grudge until Mori sits down with Kodai’s friend, Daisuke Shima (Naoto Ogata), in a very contrived scene.