I will start by saying that I both liked and enjoyed the live action Fullmetal Alchemist film. However, I am objective enough to see both sides of the conversation. This movie certainly has flaws, but I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. But I am not here to make an argument or convince you of this. Like I said, I see both sides. What I will contend is that the flaws are trivial, forgettable, and, most importantly, forgivable. Instead of the typical conversation, we will do a bit of a rating system.
Begin at the beginning:
The movie was intentional about having an all Japanese cast. This immediately places it at a 65. I refuse to watch the Death Note live action on principle for this very reason. The backstory of the brothers and their taboo was covered without being watered down, placing it at a 75. However, the Elric mother was not given enough..anything. We have no reason to care that she died. We don’t know how remarkable she was in keeping their life together, despite the trouble with Van Hohenheim. Which raises an even bigger issue of where Van Hohenheim is! Although, to be fair, there may be more movies, which would cause me to forgive this almost entirely. But these two issues bring it back down to a 70.
Nearly every character was great, or, at least, a fun and acceptably accurate representation of the characters I already knew. The characters alone bring the movie up to a 90. It was fun to see Winry try to be very much like Winry. This may seem petty, but Winry without blonde hair was a slight annoyance. My bigger issue is with the priest/cult leader at the beginning. He was running scared from Al who was recklessly chasing, destroying the city in the process. In the end, Al defeated him with childish alchemy. This felt like a bit of a betrayal to who Al is. Al is extremely intelligent, and he uses his superior intelligence to expose the cult leader for the fake he is. It is an exceptional insight into what makes Al so special. This iteration makes him look childish and pouty. While Al does his fair share of pouting, it is more often than not because of his dismay at the morality of humanity. All this to say that the first exposure to Al in this movie does not accurately represent the Al we got in the anime and the one we get the rest of the film. All of this brings is back down to an 85.
The ending leaves much to be desired. I didn’t like how (chimera dude) was the “final boss” so to speak. It wasn’t believable. And he was incarcerated.. It just seemed like a lazy ending. Also, I have played videogames that look more realistic and certainly feel more terrifying than those undead things we got in the film. However, the ending was done well in terms of our heroes being heroes. It was satisfying to watch Mustang burn Lust to nothing. Hawkeye is as awesome as ever. And the brothers refuse to compromise who they are to reach their final goal. It was a shame the opposing side just couldn’t match in magnitude or execution. Overall, the ending places us at the final number of 80.
My name is Chuck, and these are my thoughts. Now I would like to know what you think. Have you seen either of the anime? How do you think the movie compares? Would you like to see another live action Fullmetal Alchemist? Leave a comment down below, and we’ll talk. Enjoy the day!