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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Metropolis (2001)

(aka: Robotic Angel)



Reviews and Comments

No, it's not an anime remake of Fritz Lang's silent classic Metropolis, but with its sprawling cityscapes, underground refuges, and humanoid robots, the source of its inspiration is apparent. The story is quite different, however: the plot involves political intrigue, the threat of revolution, and a boy that stumbles upon a robot in the form of a young girl that may possess tremendous power but doesn't seem to know it.

I enjoyed the story, what parts of it seemed interesting to me. (My eyes glazed over at some of the political stuff.) I did wish that some of the character arcs had been more complete, though. This material begs for introspection on the various conflicting motives and ideals at play, and I'm not sure I understand what the intention was with what happens to the super robot at the end.

What I really liked was the way it looked and sounded. I wasn't fond of the overly cartoonish characters, but the artwork in the backdrops is beautiful. Better still is the soundtrack, a jazzy score that evoked, for me, Chicago in the roaring twenties. It's not an intuitive complement to the material, yet it's pretty much a perfect one. Accompanying the climactic events of the film with I Can't Stop Loving You (one of the few non-jazz musical moments) is a truly inspired touch.