Sat, 10 Jun 2000 21:03:44 MST
Well, I finally had a chance to see Char's Counterattack.
I'm finding it really hard to quantify my feelings about this movie. All of
the technical aspects were excellent. The animation was fluid and well
detailed. The CG shots of rotating colonies were a nice touch (as an aside,
why haven't we seen this in later Gundam series? The CG looks much better
than the hand drawings and these days it'd probably cost about 1/1000 of
what it did in '88). I liked the MS and ship designs. The character
designs did a good job of bringing a more modern touch to many classic
But after all this praise, something seems to be wrong. Part of the problem
is the characters. The entire movie is rather plot driven, so we see a lot
of what the various characters do, but no time is really spent showing us
why they take these different actions. Most of the new characters, like
Quess, Gyunei Gass and Chein Agi are cardboard cutouts. There's precious
little character development and we never really learn anything about them.
This is rather dissapointing since some of the character dynamics
(Quess/Hathaway, Quess/Char, Quess/Gyunei, Quess/Chien, Hathaway/Bright and
Chien/Amuro) seemed like they had a lot of poential if they were further
The returning characters aren't much better. For a movie billed as the
final confrontation between Char and Amuro, both are startlingly underused.
Amuro spends most of the movie in the background (it seems like Bright Noa
has more screen time up until the final battle) and from his few brief cameo
appearences we know he opposes Char's plan, but don't really get a feel for
why he's doing this. Char get's more screen time, but his motives are so
murky and contradictory that it's hard to tell what's going on. I know they
wanted to keep Char's true motives mysterious, but it ends up being
confusing. Misdirecting the other characters is fine but the audience
should be given at least SOME idea of what's really going on.
Furthermore, there isn't really much discussion of the ethics behind Char's
plan and Amuro, Bright etc's opposition to it. When that sort of thing does
come up it mostly consists of Char and Amuro screaming in between pummeling
each other. More amplification would have been welcome.
CCA is good, but it isn't great. Given it's place in the Gundam canon and
it's mission of resolving the long feud between Char and Amuro, it should
have been great. Maybe it would have been better if there had been more
time to tell the story and make us care about these characters (CCA as an
This seems to be a reocurring theme. I think about half the Gundam series I
don't particularly like would have been better if they'd had more episodes
(specifically 0083 and F91). On the other hand, Wing probably could have
been improved with fewer episodes.
Overall, 2 1/2 stars I guess.
Chris Upchurch a.k.a. Blackeagle
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