I did not particularly enjoy the Gundam 00 TV series. But this movie makes the TV show look like a masterpiece. Seriously, this was atrocious. First of all, it suffers from the same problems as the TV series (note: the full list is much longer).
- One dimensional, boring characters who are complete assholes yet somehow popular. Exhibit A: Setsuna F. Seiei. He is a complete jerk, yet everyone loves him and thinks he is the only hope of saving mankind. In the original Gundam, Amuro was also a jerk, but at least everyone knew it and he had the decency to hate himself as well. Setsuna F. Seiei’s main character trait is his middle initial. He basically is a serial killer though, so I guess it fits. Which leads to my second issue.
- “I will fight to bring an end to war!” This was a major theme in older Gundam shows as well. But there, the characters were aware that there was a contradiction. In Gundam 00 it doesn’t seem like they are. They all shout about bringing peace, and the only way to do this is to blow stuff up. And they shout this frequently and loudly. Marina Ismail is guilty of a similar crime, except for her it is “I will sit here and do nothing to bring an end to war!”. It is even more annoying when their enemy is an alien species which they can’t even communicate with which is about to annihilate the entire planet.
- The Master Race. The innovators are the evolution of humanity, and superior to normal humans in every way. The original Gundam and Zeta Gundam had this same theme with the newtypes, but they actually challenged it and debunked it. The Newtypes were not really any better than normals (except in combat) – indeed, the two main examples, Amuro and Camille, were pathetic human beings. In these shows, newtypes and non-newtypes had differences which could be overcome. But in Gundam 00, Setsuna F. Seiei is the evolution of humanity – he is better than them. And this leads to…
- Might Makes Right. Celestial Being, with their advanced technology, have not only the right but the responsibility to “take care” of humanity by bringing peace through military action. Their condescending attitude stinks of colonialism as they “look after” Earth without so much as a by your leave.
End rant. Now the movie had all of the same flaws as the TV series. In addition, it jumped around between characters too much. They had to fit everyone and their cousin in. And they all had to fit in roughly equal amounts. Marina did absolutely nothing to advance the plot and yet kept showing up.
As in the first show, the battles were equal parts random screaming, Brownian laser motion, preaching about bringing peace while blowing things up, and pinkish nudity. They also made no sense, particularly in regards to the passage of time. I thought it was supposed to take ninety days, but it seems like they are fighting the aliens immediately after. And why exactly were there two battles? Plus the entire premise is stupid. Why are there aliens in my Gundam show?!
On the positive side: there were lots of explosions. Oh, and Saji and Louise were less annoying than in the TV show. Probably the fact that they didn’t show up much helped. The best part was the epilogue – Setsuna F. Seiei comes back, having become an alien and meets Marina Ismail, who is an old granny by now and can’t even see. Setsuna F. Seiei hasn’t aged at all. They hold hands and she is happy to see him. He doesn’t apologize or anything. A perfect ending for two of the characters I hate most. I do feel kind of bad for Feldt, but if she’s dumb enough to fall in love with Setsuna F. Seiei I can’t say she doesn’t deserve it.
- Plot / Script – 4 / 10 – Painful to watch.
- Characters – 3 / 10 – Setsuna F. Seiei.
- Production – 9 / 10 – Great explosions.
- Overall – F
How it would be Worse Better under Director Draggle – Give Setsuna F. Seiei more of a personality by letting him be taken over by either the aliens or Veda.
Recommendations – If you actually liked this movie – Gundam Seed. You’ll love it. Otherwise, the original Mobile Suit Gundam, Zeta Gundam, and Turn A Gundam.