Let’s continue the Evangelion reboot with ‘Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Undo.’
Following the events of the second movie, Shinji is recovered from his container in space by his colleagues Asuka and Mari. Upon his recovery, he is treated coldly. He also finds out that he has been in stasis for the last fourteen years and much has changed.
Asuka, Mari, Misato and others are now a part of a group known as WILLE, who are devoted to destroying NERV, the group they were all once a part of. It seems they are angry at Shinji for destroying most of the planet because of his impulsive attempt to save Rei. He is fitted with a collar that will explode if it is detonated by someone from WILLE. This is threatened if he ever pilots an EVA again.
After awhile, Shinji is rescued and brought back to NERV, but things are different. Expectations are immediately placed upon him by his father and he also meet a mysterious fellow named Kaworu.
Just who is good and who is really evil with this new schism? Can Shinji undo the damage he has caused (remember the title)? Will someone finally answer some of these questions that have been building up?
According to those who know the series, while the first two movies had some differences from the original plotline, this is where things really go bananas. The first two movies used the series as a foundation to keep the story somewhat grounded in the familiar. By this point, much of that ground has been covered and the filmmakers felt free to explore their other ideas.
This entry is a bit more sedate, for the most part. There is a tremendous amount of action at the start and end, but the middle focuses on developing the characters and actually trying to explain what the heck is going on. With 14 years passing since the last entry left off, we really do need to be caught up on things, especially since little was spelled out with the first two movies.
On a technical level, this is the best-looking film of the series. Perhaps the technology was evolving as this was being made but either way, it is stunning.
One frustrating thing about the Shinji character is that he is constantly the source of problems even as he goes against the advice of everyone around him. This is important for keeping the story supplied with conflicts, but come on kid! It’s also nice to get some answers about the moon-dwelling guy that is briefly spotted in the first and second movies. A lot of his scenes are impromptu piano duets with Shinji who miraculously learns how to play on his first try. Huh? This is supposed to show the importance and value of being cooperative and working with someone else (which pays off later), but this is an odd way to illustrate that point. The revelations about Rei (both to the audience and to the character) are the most emotionally-involving aspects of the whole story.
Special features include: nothing.
‘Evangelion’ traditionalists will be mixed about the directions that the movies have taken. As an objective outsider, this third chapter lives up to the first two in terms of entertainment value. It gets extra credit because some of our more pressing questions from earlier are beginning to be answered.
Now to wait until the fourth film is eventually released.
Add an extra half star to this rating.
Unrated 106 minutes 2016