3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An unfamiliar and unexpected Evangelion,
This review is from: Evangelion 3.33 - You Can (Not) Redo [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I'm basing this review on the film itself not this particular release, I'll update if needed when it's available but it should be pretty close in most respects to the Japanese Blu-ray release. (of which the picture and sound quality is as solid as you would expect).
The Rebuild of Evangelion project has changed a lot from its original intended goal. At the start it was meant to be a near straight remake/retelling of the original, using modern animation to provide more exciting action sequence. RE:Evangelion 1 more or less stuck to this concept with a pretty close retelling of the first six episodes of the series though diverging in some details in the latter half and the final scenes hinting at big divergences to come.
RE:Evangelion 2 took that concept further, consisting of familiar scenes and scenarios but changed to tell a very different story that took the characters in new directions. Evangelion 2.22 is simply one of my all time favourite films. I couldn't even guess how many times I've watched the original series and films, and they will always be there so it was a huge thrill for Evangelion to both be familiar but surprise me. Also despite being a middle act of series of films it has really satisfying story arc and it stands up among the greatest examples of how a middle film should be.
I'll avoid spoilers as much as possible but to continue I need to say this: Evangelion 3.33 is an even bigger departure from the Evangelion series. This has attracted a lot criticism, however, as huge fan of the original series I'm fine with that because as I said I can always revisit the original series if I want to. While I would have loved more of 2's remixing of the familiar I don't have a problem with 3's direction.
However there are some issues with the film. Most serious for me, where Evangelion 2.22 shines as a great example of a middle film Evangelion 3.33 falls flat. It ends with a lot of new hanging plot threads with not much movement on the ones left from 2.22. We can mostly give it a pass on that but the story arc of the film isn't particularly satisfying and while things have certainly moved forward the story feels further than before from a conclusion. Also, and this applies primarily and heavily to one character, the move into the unfamiliar makes it very hard to recognise any of the character we know in this version, there's a lot going on in the film and they don't really get enough face time to make sense of it.
There is plenty about the film to enjoy. Again it's great to see Evangelion go new places, and the action sequences are great. However Kawrou really steals the show in by far his most interesting appearance in any media.
Overall it feels like the events of the entire films would work better as the first half an hour of a two hour film, rather than stand as a film on its own. Even so it doesn't deserve a fraction a of the hate it gets. My advice is to sit back and enjoy being completely lost with not idea where events are going. If you do it'll be an enjoyable time with the most unexpected hour and a half Evangelion has to offer.