Monday, 13 February 2012

Review - The Sky Crawlers (2008 - Dir.Mamoru Oshii)

Not to be confused with the more specialist title The Kerb Crawlers, The Sky Crawlers is a traditional anime/CGI mutated hybrid type thing. Where this worked really well in Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, due to the separation of the disparate worlds the animation depicted, it doesn't work so well here. In fact it is seriously jarring when the film leaps from a quiet hand-drawn scene to a full-on sky battle with fully rendered planes and landscape. It could have gone down the Vexille route of the whole shebang being CGI but The Sky Crawlers ends up as a mish-mash of styles that doesn't suit the tone of the story.

That's my rant out of the way. What's the pesky thing about then? Yuichi is an ace fighter pilot talking part in a staged war. But he's a child. And he'll never grow up. But not in a sugary-candy-floss-sick (try it, it's a right laugh) Peter Pan kind of way. He is one of a strange subset of humanity called Kildren, destined to stay young forever and fight in wars just for a laugh.

The majority of the film is a mystery, centred on the mysterious death (?) of the last pilot to fly Yuichi's plane. Clues are drip fed to the viewer slowly. This is mildly engaging, but if your telly suddenly exploded you wouldn't be too bothered about finding out what happened to the missing pilot. The Sky Crawlers doesn't shy away from asking some tricky questions that I'm not sure I know the answers to. Maybe I can't be bothered to think, or (more likely) I'm too much of a thick northerner to work out the possible ramifications of their philosophical musings.

If the smoking product manufacturing industry ever wanted a cracking advert, they couldn't do better than The Sky Crawlers. The characters are so desperate to have a quality smoke all the time, it's like the scenes surrounding football grounds around the country at chucking out time (or in the toilets during the game).

I vaguely enjoyed this quiet film (in both meanings of the word - vast swathes are musicless). Don't expect Appleseed: Ex Machina and you'll be okay.

If you like this you could also try:
Vexille, Appleseed: Ex Machina, Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

1 comment:

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