The hyper-realistic slice of life that is anime has found a degree of mainstream success in U.S. films like Golgo 13 and Akira, which are standouts in an already saturated market. Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance, is part of a series of four films that are, in turn, part of the Rebuild of Evangelion series based on the classic six-episode TV anime offering Neon Genesis Evangelion. If you think that’s confusing, wait till you watch the film.
It opens with attacks still plaguing NERV (a paramilitary special agency). To strengthen their numbers, NERV brings aboard two new Evangelion pilots: the mysterious Makinami Mari Illustrious and Asuka Langley Shikinami, who exudes serious intensity. Shinji Ikari and the headstrong Rei Ayanami return from film one to execute a secret plan for Gendo and the military outfit SEELE. Director Hideaki Anno, who is in charge of all the Evangelion films, brings his expected flair for the dramatic and writes a palatable story.
The film is replete with high-flying gunfights, giant robots attacking cities, and all the stereotypical imagery of most anime, which immediately made me yawn. Evangelion 2.0, the second film of the series, was one of the top five highest grossing Japanese films of 2009, earning more than $40 million at the box office (the original Evangelion won the Japanese Academy’s Best Animation prize in 2008). The film can be found on standard DVD and, for the hardcore anime fans, in a Criterion Collection Blu-ray — or you can hit Santikos this Thursday or Saturday.
Evangelion 2.0 You Can (not) Advance
Dir. Masayuki, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Hideaki Anno; writ. Hideaki Anno. (NR)
Two days only:
7pm Thu, Mar 24; Call for time Sat, Mar 26
Santikos Northwest 14, 7600 IH-10 West, (210) 496-2221