Fullmetal Alchemist (2017) Basic First Thoughts
Hey everyone Michael here so I got around to seeing the 2017 film adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist. I can’t say I necessarily hated it, but having said that it’s not good.
Let’s start with what I liked about it. I didn’t have a major problem with most of the cast except for a few I’ll get into later, but if there is someone who I think deserves praise it would have to be and I apologize if I mispronounce her name Yasuko Matsuyuki as Lust, I thought she embodied what makes the character work. Another actor I thought represented his character well was Ryuta Sato as Maes Hughes, not only did he look a lot like the character he was portraying in the series, but I thought they did his mannerisms well even if he isn’t flaunting a picture of his daughter which I was okay with.
The costumes design and the sets are for the most part pretty good. I can tell they actually tried to get the look of the anime and/or manga down.
(picture of the state military)
Now when it comes to the stuff I didn’t like about it there is plenty I have to say.
First off the CGI might have been good if this was 1997 but since it was released in 2017 it looks terrible as it is poorly rendered, and you might think well Alphonse looks decent, when he’s standing still sure he looks okay, however whenever he moves around not only does it look a bit janky but also I never got a sense of weight behind it considering he’s suppose to be a soul bonded to a suit of armor.
(Picture of Alphonse Elric)
When it comes to the cast I have to say I did not like the child actors portraying Edward and Alphonse, literally in the beginning there mom just drops dead and for a scene like that, and with the way it’s written you would expect some level of emotion and I more point the finger at directing here but the kid playing Edward just acts rather nonchalant about it. On top of that with the way Edward is written as a teenager I didn’t care for how it seems like everyone tells him where point B is when they are in point A especially when you consider the show they are adapting he was proactive.
The pacing at times is dreadful. Literally in the first 5 minutes they had Edward and Alphose do alchemy to where there mom approves, she drops dead, they have the funeral where Edward suggests they do a Frankenstein creation in trying to bring her back to life. What I’m getting at is at times things feel super condensed and this is especially problematic when you consider the movie is over 2 hours long. I get it’s an adaptation and I know it’s obvious things have to be condensed, but I still feel like there were far better ways to go about it. Then we have the thing with Shou Tucker which bypassing how he could been able to make Alphonse question if he was given false memories or not. They start off by following the events of the series when it comes to him trying to renew his spot as a State Alchemist by turning his daughter and dog into a chimera which in the show how desperate he was and whatnot. But when they revealed a twist that he was working for this General named Hakuro it makes that entire thing meaningless because there was no reason for him to be so desperate about his job security when it’s revealed he was working with the military the whole time.
The reason why I mention the comparisons to the source material is because unlike the American version of Death Note where at least they tried to do there own thing even if it wasn’t very good in of itself but I digress, this movie on the other hand comes off as them trying to stay faithful while also making changes and failing at both.
Overall this movie was a disappointment. Like I said I can’t say I hated it completely because it does have some good things in it, and I have seen far worse anime adaptations out there. Not to mention I can see a live action adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist working. But having said that the negatives are just too glaring to overlook. Would I recommend it? Considering you can see it on Netflix I guess there are worse things you can do for 134 minutes, but having said that I don’t think it’ll really appeal to newcomers of Fullmetal Alchemist or to fans of the source material. What a shame really.