"Mobile Suit Gundam: The Flash" is the latest release from the Japanese sci-fi franchise, the Gundam series. Directed by Ishmael Reed (The Wolverine), and written by Mari Hashimoto (Behing Blue) this film takes the story in the same tradition as its predecessors. As always, story and animation clash often results in a confusing and somewhat amateurish final product, but this time around the production values are through the roof. In a nutshell, we recommend watching this movie with subtitles so that you can get a better understanding of how everything is unfolding on the big screen.
"Mobile Suit Gundam: The Flash" is a film that takes place a couple of years after the events of "Gundam Versus Gorgon" and "G Gundam." The plot revolves around a new Mobile Suit (think R Gundam) named Hathaway who is tasked by his Master to protect Earth against the evil forces of the Principality of Palmoria. This Mobile suit is piloted by none other than the original pilot of the Gundam series, Neesam (Mike Massey). He is joined by two other Mobile Suits, Tallgeese (Joint hangar officer) and Jeager (Lieutenant Mallen) who each have their own reasons for joining the crew of the Mobile Suit.
Sadly, much like most animated films of its kind, the actual movie is pretty short. For the most part it runs for less than an hour and half but it still manages to pull off a decent amount of action. Despite the short length of the movie it is packed full of powerful visuals and explosions. If you have ever seen the Mobile Suit Gundam cartoon series then you know what I am talking about when it comes to the color transformations, but I digress.
For the most part the story is well told, with some good character development throughout. There are a couple of unexpected aspects to the plot that did not make me care for them, but I suppose that is the case with most animated films of this nature. The one thing that did leave an impression on me was how the film did not attempt to make Mobile Suit Gundam into a full-blown science-fiction epic.
In many ways, the movie takes after the successful TV series Mobile Suit Gundam. The main difference being that instead of the Earth fighting forces facing off against the Principality of Palmoria's invading force, the film adaptation uses the Earth forces as the enemy. It is a bold move for studio marketing but one that make Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway a must see film adaptation.
Due to be released in theaters around the United States in May, the film adaptation of Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway promises to be a box office hit. The opening weekend attendance has been fairly good for this latest animated fantasy action-adventure which received warm notes from movie critics when it debuted last year at the Sundance Film Festival. Fans of Mobile Suit Gundam are excited for the second part which is due to be released in June. Based on the successful TV series, the second part of this film adaptation will feature the return of the original hero, Gundam.