Here is a movie toted as being the best film by this oh so famous anime creator since Ghost in the Shell, but what we have is a shell of a movie.
It attempts to have a huge meaning, but fails miserably, as the plot just drolls on for most of the movie and barely scrapes the surface of what's going on until the very end. Yes, you do get some clues about the big shocker in the movie, but they are so few that it's hard to piece together anything concrete. To top it off, one character that seems to just be thrown in to try to give the movie an ending drops almost all of the plot right at the end. That's the cheapest route to make an ending when you hit a road block. Insert an odd, out of place character who observes and makes some comments for most of the film and then spills the beans of everything right at the end. When everything was lain out in front of me, I was thinking, "Seriously? This is the best he could come up with?"
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The only thing remotely inventive about the plot is what the characters are. And their big enemy? Umm... I'm guessing he watched Star Wars too much, as their enemy is their former teacher. Ooooooh! How "un"predictable.
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After watching this movie, all I could think was about how much I was ripped off, and about how there is no doubt in my mind that people would do what happens in the movie and not think anything of it. Yes, Sky Crawlers does have a philosophical plot, but it gets beaten out by single episodes of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig and Hamtaro.
The end seems rushed and it never goes anywhere. Though Oshii claims the characters have changed, the don't change one bit during the movie, only before, and then they revert back to what they were before.
Here's a hint, Oshii: If people decide to do something drastic, there's a high chance they'll do it again as they have already done it before.
The animation is good, except the CGI stands out and takes you out of the movie. The characters are horrible. Oshii tries to make it look like they change while they don't change at all. The dogfights are cool, but the movie is horrendously abysmal.
Sky Crawlers is a good name for this movie, as the movie is crawling ever so slowly to it's demise.
If you want to watch this movie, you should smack yourself in the back of the head and say "No!"
If you want to watch a movie where you also will think "Given the circumstances, people would do this and not care about who (or what) gets hurt," just watch Michael Clayton. It's a much better film, and it's probably cheaper on Blu-ray, too. (Though it doesn't have any dogfights, it does have an exploding car.)