I’ll admit, after seeing the 1st Gantz movie, I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for months waiting to see the conclusion. I can see the movie is somehow faithful to the manga but points and scenes have been changed or added on. But most importantly, the movie maintains its own rhythms but neglects action fans as they will have to wait for a while for the first real action scene involving a battle in a train. Each teammate has a different motive for fighting, whether to protect a loved one or to do what they think is right. Regardless, I came in wanting action and I left wanting more…maybe I fell into the directors bait?
All of this coincides with the re-appearance of Masaru Kato, who is supposed to be dead from the events of the first movie. The twists and change of pace try to make up for the fact that there is a serious lack of sex, nudity, and splattery gore. There will be moments in the film that will make you wonder about continuity but since this is a more story driven film arc then the last film, I actually am surprised it came together so well. As already shown in the first film, everyone is capable of returning from the dead. So everyone comes back. Everyone, even Katou’s younger brother. The only one who doesn’t return to the real world is Kurono Kei. It seems that everything is taking a turn for the better…
I wouldn’t say the whole dead/alive arc is bad, particularly given how tight the rest of the movie is. The script itself ranges from intriguing in its moral lesson about what people will do to save themselves or the ones they love, to amiably cheesy when that love is put to the test. However, Gantz II also pulls more on the emotional heart strings, everything the first movie built up is set to be torn down throughout the sequel. It never really made much of a connection with me though, and I was reminded of that common criticism of sequels that the formula is simply make everything bigger and louder. Well, for once that might not have been such a terrible idea because here less is less.
All in all, the climax was not as good as the one from the previous film but the action scene on the train rocked! It’s unfortunate that Gantz did go on to suffer from Matrix syndrome; an exciting high concept idea that gets lost in the following films. Although the movie does not deliver in explaining unknown questions like movie-goers expect, this movie does deliver some of the best action not seen in Japanese movies and that should take your mind from the unsaid answers. Definitely recommended for fans of the first film, but if it didn’t do anything for you, this film definitely won’t evoke much more feeling into you.