Review of 'The Sky Crawlers (Sukai kurora)'

the_sky_crawlers.jpg Ok, I got this at a seriously discounted price. Unfortunately, not discounted enough and also unfortunately, I got this. I had seen it on the shelves for a few years and was intrigued with what looked to be tremendous quality Japanese Animation and, to be honest, the animation (at least in the sky) is actually very good. It is just everything else that is not.

This is a story of the near future where there are no wars but an organised conflict between two companies who act as a catharsis for the rest of society (which, evidently, “needs” conflict). These battles are carried out in the air by “Kildren” - Young children that never grow up. Kannami Yuichi is a pilot who is newly posted to a base replacing a pilot who no one wants to discuss…The base commander Kusanagi appears to know but is not telling.

This movie is very slow paced and voiced by characters that appear to only speak in monotone with little facial expression (one particular moment I recall is a character who is in great anguish, crying, for several minutes to all of a sudden adapt the standard monotone voice instantly). None of the characters are particularly endearing and at the end I did not care what happened one way or the other (though that, limitedly, may have been the director's intention). Style is one thing but the depth here is only so far as you are wondering what is going on in the world of the movie - How did things get to be the way they are?

The air battles are incredibly realistic and very well rendered but I am not sure there is anything else I can say positive about this movie. It is a bit unfortunate as I am a fan of the director.

Rating: “Not great, but not the worse”

Review Date: 2011-11-02

Directed by: Mamoru Oshii

Studio: Production I.G.

Year: 2008

Length: 121 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation

Other reviewed films by Mamoru Oshii: