PSYCHO-PASS: THE MOVIE
I had not seen the Psycho-Pass tv series prior to sitting down to watch the film. This proves somewhat of a disadvantage as the film is one that is made for the fans of the series, not designed to open the universe up to new people. As I was watching, I was having to constantly consult the Wikipedia page for the series to find the meaning of various terms used and what the relationship between the characters is it would not be easily gleaned by the casual sampler, for instance, that the insurgent Kogami was actually the secondary lead and one of the inspectors at the Public Safety Bureau in the series. I felt I was spending more time trying to work out what the world was about during the initial sections than I was investing in the drama of the show.
I looked forward to Psycho-Pass: The Movie as another venture into the gritty Cyberpunk anime as patented by works such as Ghost in the Shell (1995) and many others that have derived from it. Even though Psycho-Pass: The Movie is not uninteresting, I felt somewhat disappointed in that expectation. The world that the series creates is filled with possibilities. The latter half develops out a strong and interesting political scenario where you feel that the filmmakers are trying to make an analogy to some world events even if you cant place your finger on what. These scenes are well written if nothing else, you have to commend the film as being surely the only anime ever to namedrop the works of Marcel Proust.
When we entered into the military combat zone, I kept expecting the film to open up into something akin to Shinji Aramakis amazing Appleseed (2004) with its awe-inspiring scenes of combat between hi-tech tanks and battlesuits. The film starts to head in this direction but never fully gets there. You would have to say that the action sequences are okay but fail to fully hold the wow that you expect them to. One of the downsides of the film is also that some of the dialogue comes in English no problem with that, except that it is being spoken by people who are not native English-language speakers and comes out as very stilted and awkward.