Plot-Masaru Kato attempts to save a man who has fallen onto the train tracks. When he saves him, his childhood friend Kei gives him a hand to pull up Kato but they both are now on the train tracks and get hit by the train. Well, rather than being dead they are transported to a strange apartment, in which they realize they are not alone;there are others who are also in this room as well, and together they see a black ball known as Gantz. They are provided weapons and suits, and given missions from Gantz to battle aliens who are sent to earth. Each mission gives those points, and when you reach 100 points you can either be set free, or bring back a person from memory to be with them. Think of this film as Men in Black meeting Death Note with The Matrix thrown in.
Review-If you think Hollywood is dipping too much into comic books for film adaptations, look at the Japanese and the manga that they dip into just as much for their films. Gantz is based on a short lived anime that I am not familiar with as I am not an avid anime reader or watcher. The selling point to a film like this is delivery. Does it deliver on the action and the aliens? And the answer to both is yes. Also, a shock to me was how bloody this film was. While I am not complaining at all, I was just expecting a more Death Note style of killing, and got more brutal death scenes. This film shares a lot of similarities to Death Note from L playing Kato, to the people behind this film being behind DN. It had the same pacing, where they really try to build the story and characters and make you invest an interest in their wellbeing.
All these people are gathered in a room dead, and given a chance to fight for their life back against aliens. They have guns, swords, and a suit that can adjust to be stronger, quicker and protect them. At first Kei and Kato are scared, but along with others who are also scared. See, the game to Gantz if you die in this Gantz controlled world, you are gone for good and the next person who dies in regular life gets to take your place. As the film goes on Kato gets feelings for a female who is also part of this Gantz world named Tae. When Tae arrives in the Gantz world she is naked (because she died in the bathtub) and Kato gives her his coat. After their missions are complete and the aliens die, they can go back to their regular life on earth till the next mission. As Kato is starting to have feelings for Tae, Kei on the other hand is getting too gung ho about the Gantz world, where he does not want to leave and wants to kill aliens all the time.
As the film builds on, so do the sub-plots that involve the aliens wanting revenge on the Gantz people. Which was the focus of Part 2.
Plot-The Gantz people are determined to get 100 points to resurrect some of the people who died in the first film. With the addition to the aliens, the guys now face an investigator who is complicating matters with his investigation into what is going on. Also, now a new breed of aliens is emerging, ones that wants to destroy Gantz and the guys.
Review-As much as I loved the first one, this was not as great. I liked it, but I felt it was a bit of a letdown after how good the first one was. It just was so confusing in the first half hour that even though they eventually do explain it, it just was still so confusing nonetheless. In addition, you see the ending coming a million miles away. This had two really cool fight scenes that stood out, one that involved Kei and Kato fighting an alien that was just so well shot and it actually was better than all the fight scenes in the first film. Then, the subway trains fight scenes with the Japanese girl in the school girl outfit of course, that really gave you something to make you happy you watched this film. Those fight scenes really seemed so inspired by films like Tokyo Gore Police and Machine Girl. They were just so fast paced and well shot and would have fans just having fun with them.
Like the previews to this film promise all questions will be answered, and not sure if that was a positive or a negative as to the last part of this film being such a letdown. To watch the first film and experience part two is almost a crime. Now, the second film is not the worst film ever, and had some very well executed fight scenes, but it was just so confusing to keep up with and so boring at times, that you did not want to keep up with it. It was just like the Matrix franchise, the first one was so good and the second while it was good in its own way, was not as good as the original and the third which was a total abomination. The first film while very good gave us a cliffhanger ending that you have to watch part 2 to see how it all ends. Part 2, while it is good for what it is, how can you compare it to the first one and be fair?
As a whole, I would recommend to watch both but be warned to lower your expectations for Part 2. All in all, if you are fans of Death Note and loved the live action films, you will dig this a lot.
Gantz as a whole 8.5 out of 10