Brief Summary: A terrible virus, Medusa, spreads around the world and turns people to stone. The creators of the virus (unbeknownst to the rest of the world) create a cyrogenic sleep center to protect 150 people from the virus. They will awaken in 100 years.
Sounds like an exciting sci-fi movie, right? Wrong. This description is barely even incidental to the plot of the movie, which is about dreams and fairy tales. Well, saying it is about dreams and fairy tales is quite generous. Really, it’s about running away from monsters. I don’t know why, but the creators start with this fairly interesting premise and completely toss it out. The virus is basically a plot device to make people go into the cyrogenic sleep center and to kill people at convenient times so that they can die “tragically.” All but seven or so of the sleeping people die within a minute of waking up. Maybe this was supposed to be shocking but it was really just pathetic. The cyrogenic sleep lasts for two days instead of 100 years, and this is discovered after about twenty minutes of being awake, so it is not like they are concerned about it at all. Plus, the creators of the movie seem to completely forget the plot thread about the creation of the virus about halfway through the movie, for no apparent reason. It is never mentioned again.
I had high hopes for this movie for approximately the first two minutes, when it started out with one of the only semi-realistic settings in America I have ever seen in anime (the other being being Red Garden). This was coupled by a quote from Romans on the side of a bus for bonus points. Unfortunately, once people came into the movie everything went downhill. The setting was a European castle, supposedly in the middle of the US, next to an ocean with windmills. Why did they show New York at the beginning?
In an even more egregious move, the movie drops the Christian mythology we were expecting from the quote from Romans and random talk about Noah’s ark, along with the religious cult hiding in the shadows which controls the corporation (as far as I can tell, they are never mentioned after the first ten minutes). This is exchanged for the story of Sleeping Beauty. Now, I may be biased because of the Disney movie, but Sleeping Beauty is one of the most boring folktales ever told. And they start off with Christian mythology and crazy evil cults and drop it for this. Disappointing, to say the least.
King of Thorn also did a very poor job at explaining the plot. This may have just been me (the attention I paid to the movie decreased exponentially over time as my interest waned) but by the end of the movie I was even more confused than I was at the beginning. A good mystery should reveal the answers to previous questions as it asks new ones. This movie asks new questions as it forgets about the old ones. By the end of the movie I barely had any idea what was happening anymore. And not in a good, mindfuck kind of way. In a “they fail at explaining” kind of way. I didn’t even realize that the main character and the person who came to the cyrogenic freezing center with her at the beginning were twins until halfway through the movie. And I’m pretty sure this wasn’t supposed to be one of the “twists.”
Looking on the positive side, one of the bright points was the musical soundtrack. All 30 seconds of it. By the twentieth time through I had had about enough. As for the characters – they weren’t interesting at all because all of their actions were reactive. The entire movie was them running away. What will we do next? Uh oh, monsters. Run! More monsters?! Run! The castle is flooding? Run! This is most of the plot.
- Plot / Script – 4 / 10 – Horrible / no resolution, forgotten questions, unfulfilled premise.
- Characters – 4 / 10 – The characters’ entire personalities were merely occupational. Mother. Soldier. Mad scientist. Ex-KGB. RPG player. Police officer. None of the characters really took any steps outside their assigned role, with the possible exception of the main character.
- Production – 7 / 10 – It did look nice, I’ll give them that, but work a bit harder on the music, ok?
- Overall – F
How it would be Worse Better under Director Draggle – Maybe try doing something with the premise involving cyrogenic sleep instead of forgetting about it after ten minutes. Try something involving the characters performing some activity other than running away from monsters. Make the plot at least mildly coherent. But seriously, I would just pretend this never happened.
Recommendations – Princess Tutu (any arbitrary episode tells a better fairy tale than this), Shangri-la (for same kind of sci-fi / overrun cityscape setting)