Anime, Movie, My Review Academia

My Review Academia the Movie: Two Hours of Fun

It’s finally here. The first film in the My Hero Academia series, simply titled My Hero Academia: Two Heroes. And you guys know me: I love me some My Hero. So I bought a pair of tickets, dragged an old friend to the theater (he’s also a fan of the series, don’t worry, I didn’t drag along some guy whose never seen it) and sat down amongst a crowd of fellow My Hero fans (four or five of them were in cosplay and they were cool) and watched it subtitled on the big screen. How was it?

It was pretty good. Not mind blowing and amazing, or anything like that. It was just a fun, well put together movie.

We’ll start with the plot, which I’ll summarize in the least spoiler filled way possible (although there will be spoilers ahead after this synopsis, so I’d advise you leave now if you haven’t seen the film).

Deku and All Might travel together to I-Island, a moving home for the world’s most brilliant scientists, (and yes that name gets confusing) in order to meet up with All Might’s old friend David Shield and his daughter Melissa Shield and attend a party dedicated to the release of David’s newest invention or something like that (which I don’t think we ever see). However, before Melissa, Deku and his classmates can show up at the party (oh yeah, all the Class 1-A kids are there for some reason, but only about half of them are plot relevant) villains attack and take the whole island hostage. Now it’s up to Deku and friends to rescue All Might, stop the villains and save the day!

It’s a perfectly serviceable comic-book schlock story. It’s nothing super great or memorable, but it gets the job done. That job being ‘get the characters into a situation where they have to save people and fight bad guys’. It does try to have a few twists at the end (which I won’t spoil, don’t worry) but they’re so painfully obvious and predictable that they barely count as twists. There is at no point in the story that you will think ‘Gee, I wonder what will happen next!’.

The two new characters, David and Melissa shield, are just as predictable. They are what you’d expect: Quirkless geniuses who want to help people and build stuff to do it. While I can’t say anything about David, because that would go into spoilers, Melissa doesn’t really have any flaws to speak of. She’s beautiful, well liked by all the other characters, and clever beyond her years. The only real flaws she has is that she gets carried away one time while looking over Deku and his costume, and she trembles in fear at the idea of having to fly over a hundred feet into the air without any protection. Aside from that, she doesn’t really have anything else, and neither does her dad. The two are basic copy-paste support characters from your average comic book, and their emotional arcs either don’t exist or are super fucking predictable.

Now, predictability isn’t a problem. Hell, plenty of the arcs within the canon series of My Hero can be considered predictable. But so long as it’s executed well and fun to watch, it doesn’t matter if you can call it all just by looking at a synopsis. And, much like the show, I would say that this plot is executed pretty well.

For the most part.

I mentioned earlier how all of the Class 1-A kids are on the island. This is, story wise, the second biggest issue for me. Oh, and we are getting into spoilers now, so this is you last chance to go back.

Anyways, in the first half hour or so of the movie, we get a few scenes where we meet the members of Class 1-A who would be important to the plot. Those characters being…

  • Iida
  • Uraraka
  • Todoroki
  • Bakugo
  • Yaorozu
  • Jiro
  • Kaminari
  • Mineta
  • Kirishima

and all the other ones are relegated to background cameo appearances (one of which features an odd UNO product placement that came out of nowhere).

These characters each take some time explaining how and why they’re there on the island, because the writers of this film knew that they’d have to explain it or else the audience would call them out. Some of these reasons make sense, such as Yaorozu and Todoroki being sent to represent their families and Bakugo being invited because he won the UA Sports Festival. But others… not so much. Kirishima and Mineta are there because a random restaurant needed more waiters and they volunteered (that can of worms has so many holes in it that the worms have all long gone, but I’ll accept it I guess) and Kirishima just sort of tagged along with Bakugo despite not being invited. And despite having a clear gag scene where all the other girls played rock-paper-scissors to decide who Yoarozu’s plus twos would be, all the others managed to get in somehow anyways.

Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if they spent a little time establishing this visually. Cause, y’know, it’s a movie, it’s all about visuals. But instead, they all just have throw away lines explaining how they got there. It feels like lazy writing but, considering that each of them gets their own thing to do that directly pushes them forward later, I can forgive it.

And each of them do get incredibly satisfying stuff. Mineta gets to shine by climbing up and crawling through a tight vent to lower a ladder for everyone (while muttering ‘harem’ to himself over and over) and Kaminari gets to zap a horde of robots with his lighting powers. Each of them have significant enough contributions that they do feel essential to the plot, and not just throw away fan service.

Speaking of which, there is a lot of fan service in this movie. From seeing each character in cute new best-dress outfits to them showing off their powers in unique ways, every significant character gets a moment to shine (except all the Class 1-A kids who are stuck in their hotel rooms) in some way or another. Hell, we even get the biggest fan service moment possible at the very end with (MAJOR FUCKING SPOILERS) All Might and Deku teaming up and punching the bad guy with the, and I’m not making this up, ‘Double Detroit Smash’.

We finally have our Father-Son Kamehameha, ladies and gentlemen.

On the topic of the villain, let’s talk about him. He is easily the worst aspect of the film. His Quirk is kind of lame (he manipulates metal I guess) his personality is practically non-existent, his motivation is just ‘make money by selling high tech stuff’ and so on. Hell, we never even learn the dudes name, and if we did I sure as hell can’t remember it. The other bad guys just call him boss.

Whatever. He serves his purpose just fine, that purpose being ‘hit heroes good and then get hit by heroes even better’. But don’t expect to be blown away by a fantastic and interesting villain. Y’know.

Like the series is known for.

Now, there is one other issue I can still think of for this film. It may seem like I’m nitpicking, but hear me out. Early on, when Melissa is showing Deku around the island, there’s a scene where she shows him a bunch of cool tech, like a super helmet and a super-fast submarine ship thingy. You’d think that was them setting up for them to appear later in the film, right? Like, some villain or maybe one of the other kids shows up using that tech and someone has to fight them?

Nope. It never shows up again. It feels like such a waste too, since all of these gadgets look really cool. But all we get is the ‘Full Gauntlet’, which helps Deku punch things without breaking his arm.

Meh.

Aside from that, I have no complaints. There were some really fun Easter eggs, such as the appearance of the hero Godzillo (he has the actual Godzilla roar, and he shows up because of a quote ‘brand sponsorship’, which is a nod to the fact that Toho sponsored the movie) which made me laugh so hard I nearly threw up. He’s just Godzilla wearing a cape and pants, and it’s kind of the most amazing thing ever.

And then there’s all the technical aspects, which we’ll go over quickly. In terms of cinematography, this movie is pretty good. There weren’t really that many shots that stood out, but the camera work was interesting enough that I never got bored while watching it. Combine that with the excellent animation and stellar-as-always music, and you get a film with an incredibly strong presentation.

Okay, I lied, I do have one other issue: the action scenes. They are beautifully animated, and the final one is exempt from this issue, but none of them really made sense visually. I could never keep track of where the characters fighting were relative to each other or the environment around them due to the constant breaking of the 180 degree rule. It never made me want to barf, but it did keep me from getting into some fights because I simply didn’t know where anything or anyone was relative to one-another.

And then there was the ending. Now, I won’t spoil how it ends. But I will say this: it is incredibly rushed, barely feels conclusive, and is hardly satisfying at all. After they beat the bad guy (because of course they do, what’d you expect?) we just get a few silent stills and interactions during the credits before it’s over. It feels like they cut out the last ten minutes or so of the film. We never get to see Deku and friends say goodbye to Melissa as they fly back home, we never see All Might and David do the same, and we don’t see what happened to the bad guys. It simply ends after the big final boss, and it leaves you craving more in a bad way. Maybe this won’t be an issue for the Blu-Ray, but it certainly was an issue in the theater.

Okay. Now I’m out of criticisms.

This movie was simply delightful. The action was fun, giving each character a moment to shine. The animation was drop dead gorgeous, and the music was phenomenal as ever. The story, while predictable, was still fun and engaging, and the same can be said about Melissa and David Shield. If you love My Hero Academia, you’ll have a ton of fun with this movie. If you don’t, this film will do absolutely nothing to change your mind.

Flaws aside, I would say you should check this out if you’re a My Hero fan. Pick it up on Blu-Ray, or see if your local theater is playing it anywhere near you in the next few days (those days being the 27th of September to the 2nd of October). It’s not a movie you should drop everything to go and see, but you won’t regret your time with it.

If not only just to see Godzillo.

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