Confession time: Full Metal Alchemist and Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood are my favourite manga and anime series respectively. In fact, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is the only anime series that I have felt the need to buy on DVD and the only one that I’ve watched from start to finish multiple times. So, when I saw that a live action film had been released onto Netflix, I was both happy and anxious. On one hand, it meant I was going to get to watch my favourite anime in a new form. On the other hand, in my mind, Brotherhood was perfect and as a result, I will accept nothing but perfection from this film. Despite this, I decided to watch this film, praying the whole time that it would be just like FMA: Brotherhood. Did it reach such heights? Here’s my review:
Firstly, I have to admit that the costumes for certain character was on point. Hughes, Hawkeye and Lust were exactly like their manga/anime counterparts and thanks to that, I felt myself connecting to these characters the most out of the whole film. They reminded me of what the original material and that had me watching intensely every time they appeared on screen.
Moreover, I have to say that film itself was visually appealing especially regarding the alchemy aspect of the show. It looked really cool to see Edward use alchemy to create walls and other things in his many battles during the duration of the film. In addition, Al’s suit of armour looked super realistic and visually interesting as well. Before I started the film, I was super worried about this because he is a main character and a result, he has a lot of screen time. If his appearance as armour was distracting in a way, I wouldn’t be able to watch the film but alas, that didn’t happen.
From my comments so far, you’d think that I actually enjoyed this film… But truthfully and unfortunately, I didn’t. My main issue with the movie stems from the fact that I found it lacking. The FMA anime and manga had an absolutely gripping plot that was supported by brilliant characters. Furthermore, the anime and manga had time to develop the plot and introduce these characters in a way that a 2 hour film could not. This resulted in certain characters being absent from the film and the plot being dramatically different from what I had seen and loved before. Now this wouldn’t have been a problem if the film was excellent but it wasn’t. Therefore, I wasn’t able to look past the changes and as a consequence, I couldn’t get into the film.
In conclusion, whilst certain aspects of this film were fun to watch in a live action production, I was not able to overlook the changes that were made to a stellar series. In my opinion, the efforts made to fit a long running manga/many parted series into a 2 hour film caused the film to feel rushed. Moreover, it lost a lot of the stuff (characters and plot lines) that made it great in the first place. Thus, I found myself unable to enjoy this particular adaptation of FMA.
Am I being too harsh? Leave a comment below, if you think differently.
Featured Image taken from an article on comicverse.com