Patlabor the Movie 3: WXIII
When several deadly Labor accidents suddenly strike Tokyo Bay, veteran police detective, Kusumi, and his young partner, Hata, take on the case. Each detective applies his own style of investigation, but neither is prepared for the international labyrinth of deceit that is about to unfold.
Hata's new girlfriend, a genetic research scientist, hides a secret that the detectives need and Kusumi vows to unravel. Soon, the investigators are entangled in a world of government coverups, military conspiracy, and personal tragedy. As the investigation heightens, the detectives encounter an unexpected enemy-- the ravenous biological weapon WXIII: Wasted Thirteen.
To stop the beast's rampage, Kusumi and Hata must work with the military to lure the monster into a brutal showdown with the Patlabors of Special Vehicle Unit 2!
Have you got an hour and a half to watch a movie? Then this is an excellent candidate for your time, provided you have sufficient patience.
This movie has a calm, steady feel about it and moves along at a nice, steady pace, something I've heard the other movies have as well. What the other movies don't have is Wasted Thirteen, which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it, and whether or not you like some science fiction with your mecha.
The animation is all very nice, consistently fluid, and the character designs are detailed and easy to tell apart - the main characters at least. Some of the pedestrians / regular characters look rather similar, but that's just because I'm picky. The scenery is great, with the exception of two awkward stills (one of which *must* be a mural) behind Kusumi and Hata while they're walking. The vehicles are all well done, including the Labors (with details like the chrysanthemum on the chest of the Unit 2 Patlabors). Wasted Thirteen itself is rather hard to describe, but it certainly looks like a biological weapon (not that I've seen one, but still).
The music is best described as ambient throughout most of the film, with it running steadily in the background for most of the film, and given Kusumi's record habit, it sounds fitting. The one classical piece is not anything particularly memorable, being merely a classical piece, plain and simple, but adequate.
I only listened to the Japanese language track for a few minutes just to see what it sounded like, so I won't comment on it other than to say the music video director is much better done on the Japanese language track than on the English one. The acting in the English version is quite good, except for one bizarre problem: the changes in dialogue. The changes to the structure of some of the sentences (compared to the subtitling for the Japanese track) are awful. I like dubs, but when I find a situation awkward until I watch it with the subtitles on, then somebody did a bad translating job. A primary example occurs during the scene where Kusumi questions Hata about his "no smoking in the car" policy. Gyah. How anyone could consider that a good replacement line, not to mention thinking that it needed changed in the first place, is beyond me.
The plot is quite solid, although I had thought the plot had a few holes, but I discovered that was because I'd somehow missed a few rather short pieces of conversation which explained some questions I'd had, so that fixed that.
The characters are well done, ranging from Hata, the young detective with an eye for small details and skill with computers, and Saeko, a scientist with some serious issues, to Kusumi, the veteran detective with good instincts and a large collection of records who spends the film limping due to a broken leg (received in an unspecified manner). The supporting characters, such as the police lab technician are also unique, and add their presence to the film in suiting manners that enhance the experience rather than distracting the viewer from the rest of the film.
This movie would probably only gotten a PG-13 rating except for one thing: the character of the music video director. While listening to the dub and without the subtitling on nothing he says will be offensive to anyone who doesn't speak French(well, I'm pretty sure that's what language he's speaking), but on the Japanese track he speaks English, this is how the "R" rating for 'Language' was earned.
I'll finish by saying this is a visually impressive, well-acted film with a musical score which while not bad in the least, will not stick in your memory after you are finished watching. As long as you pay attention, the plot will wrap itself up, leaving only a few small assumptions up to the viewer. 'Tis a nicely done movie that, while slow-paced, provides an excellent story with interesting characters.
I would give it five, but the pacing may be too slow for some people. Add one star if you enjoy relaxing in front of a movie that stomps along towards its conclusion regardless of pacing. — Samuel Arbogast
Recommended Audience: Due mostly to the foul-mouthed director, offensive language is quite high. Couple that with some rather violent deaths, a few brief scenes of bare breasts (non-sexual, otherwise I'd summon artillery in fury) as well as the appearance of Wasted Thirteen itself which could frighten children, and I'd have to mark this one as teens and up.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Patlabor the Movie 3: WXIII © 2002 Headgear / Emotion / TFC
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