20th Century Boys (20-seiki shônen)

20th Century Boys (20-seiki shônen)

1969: Kenji and his group of friends spend their summer holidays dreaming about the World Fair at Osaka and jotting down possibilities of world destruction in their file of predictions. In those days, Kenji dreamt of being a rock star and of saving mankind. 1997: Kenji helps out his mother in the local minimarket and babysits his niece Kanna. His childhood dreams come back to him when the police question him about a mysterious organisation whose symbol is exactly the same as the one drawn in that file decades ago. All these clues point towards a mysterious sect whose leader is called AMI. 31st December 2000: The countdown begins, the end of the world is nigh. Who will save humankind? 2.5 out of 5 based on 11 reviews
20th Century Boys (20-seiki shônen)

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Director Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Cast Etsushi Toyokawa, Takako Tokiwa Toshiaki Karasawa
Studio 4Digital Media
Release Date February 2009
Running Time 142 minutes
 

1969: Kenji and his group of friends spend their summer holidays dreaming about the World Fair at Osaka and jotting down possibilities of world destruction in their file of predictions. In those days, Kenji dreamt of being a rock star and of saving mankind. 1997: Kenji helps out his mother in the local minimarket and babysits his niece Kanna. His childhood dreams come back to him when the police question him about a mysterious organisation whose symbol is exactly the same as the one drawn in that file decades ago. All these clues point towards a mysterious sect whose leader is called AMI. 31st December 2000: The countdown begins, the end of the world is nigh. Who will save humankind?

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Reviews

Empire Magazine

Justin Bowyer

Headache-inducingly convoluted plot and cast of characters but the action and faithfulness to the series is impressive. Be aware that this is definitely a trilogy and the ending reflects this.

23/04/2009

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The Evening Standard

Charlotte O'Sullivan

The film is way too long and disturbingly in thrall to all things Western (the T-Rex title says it all) but thanks to the beautifully freaky child actors, plenty of topical ideas and a killer robot, you may decide resistance is futile.

19/02/2009

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The Daily Express

Allan Hunter

Thirty years later all the doomsday in fiction is becoming fact in an ambitious science-fiction yarn that grows more accessible as the hectic story starts to calm down.

20/02/2009

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

It’s a cracking idea, but deserves a bigger budget and better directing.

22/02/2009

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Total Film

Matt Mueller

Director Yukihiko Tsutsumi uncorks punchy magna visuals but also plods through events like he's unsure how to stir the flavours together, leaving most of the mysteries hanging for an already in-the-can sequel.

13/02/2009

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Variety

Russel Edwards

Childhood dreams become doomsday nightmares in the entertaining if not entirely satisfying Nipponese sci-fi thriller "20th Century Boys."

25/11/2008

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The Observer

Philip French

The dramatic premise is ingenious and there are two future lengthy episodes to come. But I was often baffled.

22/02/2009

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Time Out

Trevor Johnston

The movie buries us in repetitive exposition and redundant flashbacks long before we get to the moderately spectacular finale. The ideas are fun, there are some striking design ideas (the villain’s commonplace-yet-freaky mask), yet the clogged storytelling just doesn’t make enough of them. Shame.

19/02/2009

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The Times

Wendy Ide

It’s mildly interesting but inelegantly structured, unfolding through a mess of flashbacks and shocking overacting.

19/02/2009

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The Guardian

Cath Clarke

The original may have sold 20m copies but they should have kept creator Naoki Urasawa away from this script - whole swathes ought have been gutted, making for a very long and unfailingly shallow 142 minutes.

20/02/2009

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Channel 4 Film

Holly Grigg-Spall

If you're not a fan of the books, there's no point taking an interest in the films until all three are released. If you are a follower, fan sites say that the cast look uncannily like their cartoon counterparts and the plotline is a good match, which should sustain interest until the next, and hopefully more exciting, chapter.

23/04/2009

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