Mamoru Oshii's ASSAULT GIRLS
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
This is sort of a sequel to Avalon. We have, again, a post apocalyptic society where immersive multiplayer videogame warfare seems to have evolved into a major societal and economic force.
This time the director’s approach is much less serious, there is more emphasis on action via gunfire and monsters, and most of the time we get to watch a group of attractive young women run around a barren desert shooting giant monster sand whales while wearing attractive costumes.
The costumes have been lovingly designed: lots of buckles, straps, knee and elbow pads, facemasks, and — I kid you not — feathers. It’s as if an anime influenced fashion designer turned in incredibly detailed costume designs and the costume department followed the designs slavishly down to the last stitch.
Does it all add up? Not really. There’s little plot and no real personality development. But that’s not the point. The director is moving his characters around as they fight and follow the omnipresent game controller who appears regularly as a spinning globe of light. The setting — almost a desert — is sparse but well suited to the goings on which seem to focus on the regular appearance of those monster sand whales. We also get to see — briefly — some cool air and space vehicles.
It is interesting. But I get the impression that the director, who also directed THE SKY CRAWLERS and GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE, is not as engaged with gaming as the focus of his movies suggests. But that’s OK; neither am I.
Review copyright (c) 2013 by Dennis D. McDonald