Gundam fans that have been yearning for a live-action version of their favorite anime may be surprised to learn that one has already been made. They will probably be even more surprised to discover what an average production it is. While the film does display some impressive computer generated effects, the plot is relatively predictable and unexciting.
“G-Saviour” is set in the 223rd Universal Century, 144 years after the original “Mobile Suit Gundam” series. The Earth Federation has collapsed and been replaced with the Congress of Settlement Nations, abbreviated as CONSENT. Earth is in the midst of a severe food shortage and millions are starving. A new scientific discovery heralds an agricultural revolution, but CONSENT only wants to suppress the find. They wish to use hunger to control the population and ensure their continued rule. But a rebel group called the Illuminati tries to prevent this, and involve an ex-CONSENT officer who is skilled at piloting Mobile Suits. Those abilities come in handy, especially since the rebels possess an advanced Mobile Suit called G-Saviour. With this revolutionary weapon, they hope to battle CONSENT for the discovery and possibly for the fate of Earth.
The most positive thing that can be said about this production concerns the computer graphics used to bring the Mobile Suit robots to the screen. Digital Graphics has done a fantastic job in creating realistic giant robots that are incredibly detailed. The finale, in which numerous Mobile Suits fight in outer space, is remarkable for the technological wizardry that gives the robots such fluid movements in combat. Other sequences showing the Mobile Suits are also thrilling to watch, and there is little doubt the giant robots are the true stars of the film.
Their human counterparts, unfortunately, don’t fare quite as well. The cast does a serviceable job, but their performances are unmemorable and unremarkable. The script by Mark Amato and Stephanie Pena-Sy is unsurprising and never truly becomes interesting until the finale. The writers do deliver an extraordinary battle royale between Mobile Suits at the end, but it seems to take an eternity to get there. Director Graeme Campbell never gives the film the brisk pace it desperately needs, but does manage the admirable feat of making the production look more expensive than it probably was.
It is sad that “G-Saviour” is such an uneven effort; there certainly is a lot of potential in having giant robots fight gladiator-style in space. “Mobile Suit Gundam” fans will probably enjoy seeing their favorite series presented in a medium other than animation, but for any other audience, the novelty will wear off fairly soon unless they are patient enough to wait until the end.
Graeme Campbell (director)
CAST: Brennan Elliott …. Mark Curran
Enuka Okuma …. Cynthia Graves