Gantz 1 and Gantz 2: Perfect Answer Review

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This past weekend at Comic-Con International I had the the chance to see a screening of the live-action adaptation of popular Japanese manga/anime series Gantz as well as advanced screening of the sequel Gantz II: Perfect Answer.

Gantz starts off innocently with a young man Kei Kurono waiting for his subway train, studying up on how to have a successful interview. Out of the corner of his eye he notices an old elementary school friend, Masaru Kato, he hasn’t seen in years. Suddenly a man falls off the waiting platform and onto the tracks as the subway is making its way into the station. Kato jumps down to save the man but gets stuck on the tracks. Kei comes to help his friend only to get pulled onto the tracks as the subway train pulls into the station.

In a flash of light Kei and Kato are standing in an apartment. They are confused, positive they were hit by the subway train, then notice that they are not alone in the apartment. There are others who claim they had just died yet are all in this apartment alive and well. Kei and Kato then notice there is a large black sphere in the room with them. Soon the sphere activates and we learn the orb is named Gantz. It has saved them and has given them a new purpose: hunt down aliens in Tokyo to earn points to gain a chance at freedom.

Gantz is quite an interesting concept. Each member is recruited to the team and given a new purpose similar to Men in Black. Also like MiB the are given a new look in the form of a special suit which can increase their speed, strength, agility and provide limited protection from attack. Gantz provides each team member a choice of 3 types of weapons a special hand gun, a special rifle and an expandable katana blade to use for their missions.

Where Gantz gets really interesting and even twisted is that each member gets scored on their missions and get to go back to their lives during the day until called back again for another mission.

The first Gantz movie was little bit slow and took it’s time explaining things. However when it finally came to the action things were really intense. In the first mission of the movie there is dismemberment, skull crushing and body explosions, really graphic stuff. The violence only gets ramped up as each alien gets stranger and stranger. The ending is really what hooked me into the story and had me wanting to see the sequel. The special effects and make up were well done and reminded me of many of the great horror classics. The visual effects were nice and looked to be used sparingly which was nice. The CGI was used mostly for the epic battle at the end and the teleportation effect, which was amazing!

Gantz II: Perfect Answer picks up 5 months after the end of the first movie. Kei is closer to reaching his goal, but a shadowy organization is gathering, looking to seek out the secret hiding place of Gantz and destroy  it.

The sequel is more of a direct continuation of the first movie, similar to how Kill Bill is one continuos story split into two films. Gantz II: Perfect Answer pretty much lives up to it’s name, it’s the perfect answer to part one. Where the first film was a bit slow and light on action, Gantz II is faster paced and nearly 80% action! The action sequences were much better in this movie as the characters are now veterans at hunting down aliens and the new shadowy group are faster, tougher enemies. Gantz II also pulls more on the emotional heart strings, everything the first movie built up is set to be torn down throughout the sequel. The special effects and makeup were very good in the sequel, and the where the visual effects shined was in the tiniest spots like when the new aliens blink their eyes it’s creepy as hell.

This duo of Gantz films are solid on their own but really need to be viewed together to really get the full effect and spectrum of the story. Watching one and not the other just leaves you wanting more, whereas both together is a satisfying experience. I would recommend Gantz and Gantz II: Perfect Answer to any fan of the series as it’s a nice live action translation and to anyone looking for something different in their sci-fi.

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