The human race faces extinction in 2199. War has raged for the past 5 years with an unknown foe. Humanity is losing badly, aliens have bombarded the earth with asteroids, making the surface uninhabitable. Driven underground, survivors have little to hope for. When earth receives a message from deep space that offers help, Humanity musters its remaining resources to build and man a space battleship to get that help.
Based on the much beloved anime from the 70s (when I first saw it) this is the first live action adaptation of the classic series. The story is a space opera on a gigantic scale. Spectacular space battles were also a hallmark of the anime. This review will refer to the characters from the westernized form of the series.
The crew is well cast. Takuya Kimura plays a convincing Derek Wildstar; floppy hair and all. Gorgeous Meisa Kuroki plays Nova. She’s no longer a nurse but a tough fighter pilot.
The movie length is 211 minutes. Being long isn’t bad if it’s filled with huge battles with swirling space dog fights, twisting shock cannons and some sweet wave motion action! Sadly the movie only teases with battle scenes that are too few and short. The film soundtrack is missing any reference to the original series soundtrack. In its place is a Diane Warren song that stinks of Aerosmith… apparently it’s Steven Tyler’s first solo project.
Sadly, it’s hard to condense 26 episodes into one movie; The core story did not remain intact. The most glaring is Deslock (Dessler) and his race are completely unrecognizable. This could have been a film of wave motion proportions. It only teases with the source material and delivers partly of what the original series had to offer.
There have been rumors that there is a western version adaptation in the works from the script writer of True Grit, Christopher McQuarrie. I would welcome another adaptation.