In 2199, five years after the Gamilas launch attacks on Earth, the planet has been ravaged by the aliens' radiation bombs and the remnants of humanity have moved underground. One day, former pilot Susumu Kodai discovers a message capsule sent from the planet Iskandar that tells of a device that can remove the radiation from the Earth's surface. The United Nations of Space Administration rebuilds the battleship Yamato, with a new type of propulsion system - the Wave Motion Engine. This enables her to make the long voyage to Iskandar and back in hopes of saving the Earth. Within 73 days, the radiation will drive the rest of humanity to extinction and the Gamilas will inhabit the Earth.Written by
Having never witnessed the Anime this particular movie is based upon, this review will focus solely on the feature itself, and will not include any comparative analysis. As a stand alone feature, Space Battleship Yamato is a very entertaining ride, the storyline, and many of the action sequences, being reminiscent of what viewers would have experienced in Star Trek, Wing Commander, Battlestar Galactica and Independence Day.
Occasionally, the visuals seem unable to live up to the film's ambition. There was a moment when a fighter craft looked like a piece of cardboard, and the aliens, when seen, often resemble four legged stick insects. These moments aside, the effects are often beautiful, and the space battles even more so, but it's the story that cements this film into something special, and because of this, Space Battleship Yamato never feels like the B-grade science fiction film that it does sometimes appear to be.
It's 2199, and Earth's capacity to maintain humanity is dwindling under the oppression of nuclear haze from continuous strikes by an alien race called the Gamilas, a technologically proficient threat that has crippled humanity at every turn. Susumu, a former pilot, who's led by his emotions, rediscovers the hardships of battle after discovering an alien capsule that could potentially change the outcome of the war. Volunteering for a suicide mission to find humanity's only hope, he boards the Space Battleship Yamato, a derelict craft refashioned with alien technology, and must find the courage to bring a fractured crew together for the battleship's final voyage.
Although occasionally predictable, the feature continuously delivered an entertaining story of love, friendship and hope. The tone and directionality of the film remained constant throughout, the plot never once feeling forced or out of place, and unlike similar genre projects from Hollywood, frequently maintained a sense of believability, not just in the plot, but in the characters too, an aspect that is especially delivered by the actors. With a beginning that immediately captures your attention, and an ending that is almost perfect, Space Battleship Yamato is certainly worth a look, even if you're unfamiliar with the Anime.
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