Sunday, November 16, 2014

Anime Review No. 90 (Mardock Scramble The Third Exhaust)

Mardock Scramble III

Ok, so now time to finish off this film series. It continues from where Part II left off, with Rune Balot and Dr Easter are still at the casino. They are still losing, but its all part of the plan-they have a long game in mind for sure. Meanwhile, Shell is able to track down them at the casino and Boiled still is trying to get back Oefculque. It is clear right from the get-go that this feels like the last third of a larger movie, where everything is coming to a head.

They end up in a card game against Ashley Harvest (some official at the casino who was in one scene near the end of Part II) but the game turns to a draw every time. Of course he tries to get under her skin but she is strong-willed and determined and also gets some advice from Bell Wing, the casino worker Balot met in Part II. Then Shell brings in some heavies to settle the score, however Balot and the doctor get away from the casino. But uh-oh a car chase ensues with Boiled but they get away from that as well. Car chase is quite good, granted that there is some obvious CG in places.

Rune Balot and Dr. Easter then sort out the memories acquired from the casino chips, because Shell’s obsessed with implanting memories into those…..because, there’s a lack of explanation, but whatever. So, Balot dives into Shell’s memories and its quite interesting. Shell’s brutality towards his ‘girlfriends’ is quite harrowing and shocking, and mostly puts his actions up to this point in context. His reasoning… both predictable yet still unsettling. I won’t spoil but suffice to say yeah I kind of figured that but it's still shocking.

The trial date is set (yeah remember that from Part I? Yeah it slipped my mind, and the production crew it seems) and Shell gets the conviction. But Rune Balot ends up having to protect Shell for some reason, in part due to the October Corporation (which Shell was part of) has now to decide to detach Shell from them and thus go after him as they are practically mobsters. Balot and Dr. Easter go to his place, only to find Shell’s fiancee murdered in the bath.  

Last bit of it is quite bloody as Shell struggles to get away from Rune Balot who wants to kill him for what he did, but Oeufcoque is her conscience in trying to get her to stop. There is the very tense final fight between Balot and Boiled but had a very satisfying end after all.

Now, the third installation, which I got back last spring, contains both the Theatrical and Director’s Cut versions. I watched the Director’s cut mainly on a whim. Pretty much the same things I noted in my reviews for Parts I and II can be applied here. Mardock Scramble is impressive looking, with a vibrant and diverse color palette and tense atmosphere throughout this installment. If nothing else, it is visually striking and quite wondrous. Granted the story is a bit rote and hues to cyberpunk tropes and formula but its good enough in everything else that I can give it some slack.  

Now, the English Dub, directed by Janice Williams and written by Josh Grelle, is a very solid effort by Sentai Filmworks. Hilary Haag, David Matranga and Andy McAvin put in some of the best work here in this film series and should be commended for that. The rest of the cast (includes Andrew Love, Leraldo Anzaldua, Susan Koozin and David Wald) is very good as well.

In the end, Mardock Scramble is really good, but not quite great. It is however a remarkable tale of redemption and revenge and the delicate line between the two.The trilogy is worth at least a look if you like cyberpunk and sci-fi action. Of course, I would recommend anyone who wants to check this out, watch all 3 parts in one sitting-its something you can dole out on easy-going afternoon.

So, next review is my last one for the year on the blog, and its a very special movie for me….

Til next time, dear readers…...

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