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Vexille
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Customer Reviews:

  • The filmmakers left their brains at the door
    Vexille starts out promising with its interesting premise: Japan essentially removes itself from the rest of the world to pursue unchecked robotic research on its citizens. Everything else is terrible. There are a few cool moments of action, but they completely ape other, better films (most notably the recent Appleseed movies--despite what it says on the box, none of the major creative talent on those films worked on Vexille).

    Willing suspension of disbelief is required for all sci-fi films, but Vexille asks far too much from its audience. It presents one ridiculous scenario after another (the most common of which are the desert sand worms made out of rapidly spinning chunks of metal). Technical designs are strange as well. The suits the film's heroes wear have a helmet design that, if created in real life, would only serve to impair the wearer's vision (and be very heavy at the same time). Things like that just don't make sense.

    Vexille isn't even good as mindless fluff. I, personally, cannot stand to have my intelligence insulted by a film (especially one I watch voluntarily). Vexille starts doing it in the first few minutes and doesn't stop until the credits roll....more info
  • Original Plot. Cliche Characters.
    The plot to this movie is what grabbed my attention the most. The idea of an isolated Japan is a nice modernization of history, and has the level of political complexity that I usually appreciate in a movie. Unfortunately, that was about as far as it went for me with this film. All of the other details were trite and cliche, and too often the characters and the Type-A, military dialog are ripped right out of the typical action movie playbook. The umpteenth attempt at hardened, take-charge personalities that offer a glimmer of sensitivity is, at this point, dull characterization. With such a promising plot-line, there may have been a better angle at the story so that the characters were as original as the plot....more info
  • Almost dead average.

    Yeah, the story's good (if confusing), and the sets are amazing. But the animation has that sort of 'topo map' appearance like 'A Scanner Darkly' had - which to me is very off-putting and we spend more time discussing the animation techniques than paying attention to the movie. There were too many obvious plot devices.


    Although the latter half of the movie contained some amazing action sequences, I feel the overall time spent watching was pretty much a waste of time for me. I felt no emotional involvement with any of the characters or with the mission behind SWORD - although the head of Daiwa was sufficiently insane to make me want to see him suffer. Both my husband and I felt this was very derivative of The Matrix (man vs. machines, hopeless situation, etc.). The 'jags' reminded us of the swarms of 'squiddies' and the people of Tokyo were just like the citizens of Zion.


    A word about the DVD. The soundtrack (also very Matrix-y) played continuously through the movie, even during dialogue. But there was no adjustment made to the volume levels of the music, while the dialogue was going on. We had the TV up to volume 40 (normally we hover around 25-30) and still had a hard time making out a lot of the dialogue because the voices were soft-spoken (at times) and the music was intrusive....more info
  • Good Effort
    I love futuristic Japanese Anime. They always come up with this far fetched view of the future. This movie is a great example of that genre, but...

    Yes, a big "but". I think the idea, that the plot based on, is intriguing, yet execution of the story turns out to be not so interesting after the first half. Makers could have done a million different and more interesting things with it but they chose the safest way, I think. As a result the movie became "Just Another Sci-Fi Anime" instead of "Oh My God This Is Awesome".

    The movie also has a distinct style at animation. CGI is fluid and as I've said, stylish. My only problem with CGI anime is the human motion, or lack of it. It just doesn't feel right. For example, characters hands move around but fingers look like frozen fish sticks, no movement at all, just not natural. Exception to my comment is handshots with gun in a characters hand.

    Still a good movie, I wish I could give 3,5 stars. There is no harm in watching it.

    ...more info
  • the creators of the "Appleseed" film are back with a storyline that I have to say is quite thought provoking
    Having watched "Appleseed", it was pretty much a no brainer that I would be giving "VEXILLE" a try.

    The latest theatrical effort from SORI combining 3D and animation together that have made films such as the two "Appleseed" films has been quite exciting to watch and see develop overtime and just pretty much to see where animators are able to take things to a new level is always exciting.

    As a viewer, I'm open to new technologies and to see technology and well-told storylines come together.

    Of course, what makes things even more interesting is that SORI (Sori Fumuhiko) has evolved from his directorial debut with the live action theatrical hit "Ping Pong" back in 2001, produced the 2004 "Appleseed" film and here he is now as the director and screenwriter for the animated film "VEXILLE".

    With "VEXILLE", the creators of the "Appleseed" film are back with a storyline that I have to say is quite thought provoking and animation that is quite mesmerizing to watch but this is a storyline that I wish was fleshed out in several movies than just one.

    I have to admit that I really enjoyed the film.

    I really enjoyed the awesome animation, I really enjoyed the storyline but I would love to find out from SORI if there were scenes cut or if he would loved to have made this film a two-parter or maybe a trilogy.

    You get hooked on these characters such as Vexille, Leon, Maria and you just want more character development. Heck, even the main enemy scientist of Daiwa or even the corporation itself, you want to ask why did they do what they did. You are left with questions but of course, there is only so much you can cover in a film that is already at 105 minutes long.

    So, for me, I wish the storyline would lead to another film but pretty much the way everything was written, everything is contained to one story, one movie and focusing on the overall situation in Japan ala 2077 than the characters.

    With this exciting movie, you are just left wanting more and its a shame that the DVD doesn't have any special features. It's one thing for Hollywood companies to hold back and release so many multiple versions of a DVD but if there is one nitpicky thing I have about this DVD is that the Asian release gets the goodies, while those of us in the US will probably have to wait for a better release on Blu-ray.

    But all in all, the DVD is definitely solid. I really love how animation and technology have come to play with the "Appleseed" films and even "SOS: TOKYO METRO EXPLORERS: THE NEXT" to "FINAL FANTASY: ADVENT CHILDREN".

    It's good to see Japan taking chances on these type of films that utilize 3D and animation together and I know that it may not be the greatest thing for anime purists but for those who are able to accept technology and for creators to release something that is not just eye candy but having an engaging storyline is important.

    "VEXILLE" by no means is a perfect film but it's a very good film that features mind-blowing animation utilizing new technology.

    As for the DVD, it's barebones but for now, it's what is currently out and definitely recommend people giving it a try!
    ...more info
  • Vexille.... Decent, but a little vexing.
    It's from the creators of Appleseed, and though Appleseed wasn't phenomenal, it was more entertaining than this effort. That's not to say that Vexille is a bad movie, but gosh are there quite a few things wrong with it.

    For starters, the animation, while good in part, just isn't quite there yet. Some scenes looked fantastic, and others look plain unfinished in their presentation. Since Appleseed was a while ago now, I expected this style to be near perfected as it were, and this wasn't the case. Many times things took an all-too cel-shaded look, which clearly the movie wasn't try to present. That said, other parts looked wonderful, with snowflakes being brushed off a windshield near the beginning with no obvious repeating snowflake pattern as other animators are wont to do to save animation time. I mostly just wished the characters were a little more organic... ( for example the animators really weren't even trying during the one kiss in the movie...)

    But there are worse problems than the animation: Even if you follow things very carefully from the get-go, confusion is bound to ensue for a good part of the start of the movie. The problem here stems in great part from a language barrier. If you watch this movie in the original Japanese track with subtitles (as you should!), the issue is that the Americans (our protagonists for this movie) for no apparent reason speak wonderful Japanese in a decidedly Japanese accent, because... well... the movie features an entirely Japanese voice cast. Now, if the antagonists of this movie are also Japanese..., well, you see the problem here. You're not entirely sure who's whom until things really get rolling.

    The other issue is that the movie starts off at a decent pace, and then slows down to quite a crawl. A little more action would have really helped, especially since what action we do get is very-well done, Matrix-ish, over-the-top, slow-moed etc. Toward the end, though, things picked up nicely, though the ending narrative (I knew it was coming, too) is an utter cliche.

    And lastly, the movie proudly displays Paul Okenfold as providing the original score for this movie. While in theory this is a great thing, it sounded like (pun intended) Paul wasn't sure what to do with this movie, as the soundtrack for the first 80% of the movie is absolutely awful. Some scenes that could have been wonderfully dramatic are shattered by techno poop. Yes, techno poop. It's a new genre, where you merge techno and poop and call it music. It's a real shame, too. But with that said, the climactic scene has some great, great beats that really serve to increase the mood. I was VERY into that final scene, let me tell you, and the music played a huge part in that.

    So, overall, not a bad effort for a movie. Still feels a little same-old in terms of anime, but worth a view.

    3/5...more info
  • cool anime sci-fi
    ***1/2

    It's 2067 and Japan has become a nation completely cut off from the rest of the world because it refuses to adhere to a U.N. mandate banning the development and manufacturing of human-like androids. The nation has also set up a sophisticated magnetic force field that effectively bars all outsiders from entering its borders. S.W.O.R.D. is a secret U.S. special forces team sent in to find out what diabolical activities are occurring on the inside. The main character, Vexille, is a feisty female member of this special ops force.

    "Vexille" is a stylish and energetic dystopian fantasy, marked by imaginative storytelling, exciting action sequences, and animation that is a canny mixture of art deco, Soviet-era agitprop - with its heavy emphasis on facial shadowing - and technology-based futurism. Nicely done....more info
  • Yet Another Anime Rumination on the Nature of Being Human
    Nevertheless, Vexille has enough originality to make it worth watching. The basic premise: that Japan would choose to isolate itself from and in defiance of the rest of the world, has obvious parallels in Japanese history.

    As our story begins, it has been ten years since Japan withdrew from the United Nations and went into self-imposed isolation in protest of UN sanctions imposing strict limitations on certain kinds of robotics research. Acting on a tip, an American Special Ops force, S.W.O.R.D., raids a secret meeting between Daiwa Corp. of Japan, the world's leading robotics provider, and representatives of the leading World Powers, but they arrive too late to prevent Daiwa from putting its plans, whatever they are, in motion. Still, evidence of the tremendously advanced state of Japan's forbidden android technology is recovered, and in combination with evidence gathered from a previous mission that produced the tip for this one, provides the impetus for a desperate black op. A S.W.O.R.D. team is ordered to infiltrate Japan and transmit a signal that will allow spy satellites to "see" Japan for the first time since an electromagnetic shield was set up in order to hide Japan from prying eyes. Unfortunately the infiltration team is discovered and destroyed before it can complete its mission and all is lost,...

    or is it?

    Though none of this is particularly original, it is at least recombined in interesting ways. Like virtually all non-Pixar motion capture computer animation, the characters here appear a bit lifeless, a bit inhuman, but that turns out to be less of a problem than you might think.

    I wasn't expecting much when I selected this movie, but I was pleasantly surprised....more info
  • Simply Stunning, Super Animation, Super Sound Effects too
    It is 2077 and Japan has checked out of the world because of a moratorium issued by the U.N. on advancing robotic research. They (the rest of the world) didn't like the biological direction the Japanese were taking with their robots, so the Japanese developed an electrical magnetic field which shields their country from both satellites and outsiders.

    Now, because of a raid in the States gone wrong, the U.S. has discovered the Japanese are violating treaties and decides to infiltrate the county by sending in their top agents, a group called SWORD. Their job, find out what Diawa Robotics are up to.

    Vexile and her main squeeze Leon are among the team that goes in. However, they're ambushed on arrival, Vexile gets away, Leon is captured and the rest of the team is killed. Vexile wakes up in a very different kind of Tokyo that was there ten years ago and now the job to find out what is going on is left to her. Plus, her problem has gotten a little bigger, now the fate of the world is in the balance. If she fails, everybody dies.

    I liked this movie a whole lot more than I thought I was going to. The animation was first rate, the soundtrack outstanding and those guys working the Foley box (the sound effects people) really did shine. The movie has a very fast pace and I thought it was stunning....more info
  • Basic Anime Sci-Fi
    This was a basic Anime Sci-Fi. While watching it, at time I could predict what they were going to say right before they said it. I hate to say it, but it was a real stinker. ...more info
  • Vexille was quite Vexing
    Although this is a good looking animated movie, it just wasn't up to par as such greats like the most recent blockbusters like the Appleseed movies. As was the storyline as well.

    Compared to Appleseed, this movie is Slooooooow!

    Good concept, but a snails pace delivery. The payoff at the end wasn't worth the $20 I spent. Even the Final Fantasy movies are much better than this.

    What a shame they put such money and talented time in these endeavors, but don't come out with a sci-fi blockbuster.

    After purchasing and watching tons of these japanese animae movies,with all their obvious love of robotics and action, I just can't understand how no one has created a Warhammer fully CGI movie. The games and books are obviously huge and popular, but no film feature...?

    I'd much rather pay to see that, than this what passed for an OK movie....more info
  • A piece of anime eye candy-that is sure too be rated among the best.
    Vexille a memeber of U.S speacial forces(S.W.O.R.D): finds herself behind enemy lines with a group of rebels led by Maria -too save humanity by crushing Daigwa Technologies-who's science division is lead by a man from Maria's past.the two woman are also attempting too rescue a mutal freind -Leion,Vexille's mission commnader.But how did it get too this point -Some time in the early part of the mid 21st century Japan had become the worlds leading supplier of all thing Technology.It is also the formost intervator of advancing all forms of machinary. It's cyber technology applications too humans ,and android advancement are the forrunners.The U.N is not thrilled with the way things are heading ,so Japan resiengs from the U.N -kicks out all foreiners-and seals it self behind a vail of hightech sheilding.For ten years the country has been silent -most outside trading is of the under ground kind.Not all of Japan is happy with the life style there homeland goverment under the influnce of Daigwa is providing.A messager too the outside world escapes and makes.his way into the U.S where before his death,he gives vital information on a secrete meeting too take place a yr later.S.W.O.R.D-is sent in too break up the meeting and retreive data.What they bring back is a most destrubing discovery into the biotechnology advancements of Diagwa.The S.W.O.R.D team is set too influtrate Tokyo's sheild.It is a 7member team with no hope of back up-because this is a U.N. & U.S.goverment free operation.Before the Team can make it too the heart of the city they are ambushed.Vexille is the only one too escape,but not completely.She is captured by Maria's team of rebels ,who just saved her life.Slowly ,Vexille learns the horrible truth behind the isolated nation of Japan and its dying population.Can a band of barely human rebels right the wrongs of a nation and save the world?
    This movie is a well thought out story ,brought too us by the creators of Appleseed,Gonzo cgi & Funimation Studios.This is perhappes the new standered for CGI- movies...nothing cartoonie about it.A steady paced story line,kicking action,and a rockin soundtrack ,all merge for a dynamic film.I found it kind of refreshing that the authors put Japan on the whole as the bad guys ,against the world .Instead of the common anime themes-Japan saving the world or the one with the best team for the job.Vexille is in my top 10 anime movie list....more info
  • Two Thumbs Up
    This is a very good futuristic, woman in trouble story with some very serious bad guys, both machine and android. It's 2077, Japan has been ostracized by the world because they refuse to stop robotic research. In fact, Daiwa, an evil take over the world kind of Japanese corporate monster has come up with a way to turn humans into androids, thus making people better in their opinion. Of course, the humans might have a different point of view.

    Vexile, the star of the show, is a member of an elite commando group called SWORD and they've been charged with sneaking into Japan and finding out once and for all what Daiwa is up to. However, the group is ambushed, but Vexile escapes with her life, her companions, save for one other, are all killed.

    Vexile is taken in by Maria, who is the head of a group of Japanese who want to bring down Daiwa. Maria tells Vexile that Daiwa plans on turning all the people on the planet into androids. Maria has a daring plan to stop them and Vexile joins her.

    So there you have the basics of what I thought was a very good movie. The animation was very life like, the shadows and reflections looked real. The sound effects were first rate and the people, though obviously animated, started to seem pretty darned real to me as the movie progressed. I can just imagine what they'll be turning out in a few years. Anyway, two thumbs up from me....more info
  • worth it!
    DESCRIPTION:
    From the creators of Appleseed with an original score by Paul Oakenfold.

    2067: Isolation
    Japan seals herself off from the eyes of the world in the face of unilateral international policy setting strict limits on the use of robotic technology. The island nation exists only behind the veil of seclusion. No sour shall enter. No soul shall leave.

    2077: Revelation
    The veil is breached. Japan is infiltrated by agents of the organization S.W.O.R.D., a fighting force operating outside of the protection of the United States and her allies. Their mission: Determine if the Japanese are developing banned robotic bio-technology, forbidden due to its threat to humankind.


    MY TAKE ON IT:
    - beautiful graphics
    - high action
    - not overly violent, such as brain pieces splattering in slow-mo, like some anime. I'd rate it PG for the level of violence it did have
    - some parts, like the "Dune" worms, definitely required a suspension of disbelief
    - when the protagonist find out what Japan's big secret is, I didn't see it coming and found it a nice plot twist
    - a bit frustrating that some characters with "high-tech gear" sacrifice themselves for nothing against "low-tech" bad guys, when all they had to do was use their weapons and armor more effectively. Guess the director wanted them to die for whatever plot device it brought even if it made little sense

    OVERALL:
    I haven't watched anime in a while but was thoroughly impressed with this new addition to the scene. It was a fun watch and had nice eye-candy in the process. Everyone I've shared it with at work -- from the hardcore anime fan to the casual fan -- have loved it.

    It's worth checking out!...more info
  • Vexing "Vexille"
    It doesn't come as a huge surprise that "Vexille" is from the people who brought the world "Appleseed" and its even better sequel "Appleseed Ex Machina."

    And in "Vexille," the cyberpunk flavor, the big mecha, and the futuristic world full of political and technological conflict are all firmly in place, along with some pretty slam-bang action sequences and a darker, grittier feeling. While it lacks some character development and feels rather bleak at times, it's still a pretty entertaining story -- now if only it had fleshed out the main cast a little more.

    About seventy years in the future, the world is worried about the advancement of robotics technology. So the UN orders them restricted, and Japan decides to cut itself off from the rest of the world.

    But ten years later, a biomechanical leg shows the UN just what has been going on in Japan. So the American tech police known as SWORD are sent into Japan to find out if the isolated country has been doing illegal robotics research, which no other country allows. They aren't, and the movie ends there. Seriously, the Daiwa Corporation has decided to guide mankind's evolution through machinery, and the the SWORD agents are met with a very warm, nasty welcome.

    After being rescued by the rebel Maria, Vexille finds that the biorobotics Daiwa Corporation has reduced the once-proud Japan to a vast, barren slum devoid of truly human life. Even worse, a nanotech "vaccine" transforms the Japanese into mindless machines. Vexille's only hope of saving herself -- and her lover Leon -- is to join forces with a small band of rebels before Japan is completely destroyed by Daiwa.

    "Vexille" is a very different animal from the "Appleseed" movies. While it has the nimble shiny mecha and exploding buildings, the focus is on political machinations and evil corporations whose morality makes your hair stand on end. There's no utopia here for our tough heroine -- it's more like one of the outer circles of Dante's Hell.

    The scenes in Vexille's home are colourful and streamlined, set in a futuristic city. But things get darker soon, taking us to the sickly yellow light and shabby shanty town of Japan, and things don't lighten up. And that devastated Japan is a pretty brilliant creation, both in its decayed misery and in the bleak future that its few remaining "fragments of humanity" have. The big flaw: the characters spend loooooong stretches of the movie just grimly talking to each other, with too little action.

    Fortunately when there IS action, the fight scenes are top-notch in quality -- it has exploding buildings, missiles, battling mecha and chases through a marketplace. The fight scenes grow in intensity as Vexille and Maria reach the climactic confrontation with the Big Bad Guy. And the semi-apocalyptic finale is both shocking and inevitable -- as well as a helluva way to end a movie.

    And then there's the jags, which are also quite cool -- giant wormlike masses of technology and metal that devour anything they come across. Not only are they wonderfully freaky, but they come across as a sort of cyber-sandworm from "Dune." Lovely.

    And the animation is pretty astounding, though it has an oddly rotoscoped look in some action scenes. It's detailed and gloriously vivid, despite its grimy, shadowy look. And that includes exquisite details like snowflakes being individually swept from a windshield, or a reflection in a transparent helmet -- or even a smooth-skinned, nimble mecha exploding into a building with almost stunning speed. This glorious look almost makes up for the stretches of relatively action-free plot.

    Perhaps its biggest weakness is in the characterization. It feels like they put a lot of effort into creating lifelike-looking characters. But despite the spunky Vexille and some touching moments from the Japanese cyborgs, the characters never quite come alive. Call it the "Final Fantasy: Spirits Within" effect. The best-rounded character is probably Maria, the tragic rebel leader who also provides a little romantic tension for our elf-faced heroine.

    "Vexille" is a flawed little semiprecious gem -- brilliant animation, a tough heroine and mildly horrific Japan. Flawed, but has plenty of chills and explosions....more info
  • A Super SciFi Story
    It is 2077 and ten years prior Japan has withdrawn from the U.N. and the world community and built an electromagnetic field called RACE around their country, because the UN passed a resolution outlawing bio-robotic research and technology.

    SWORD a very high-tech unit of commandos is sent into Japan, because the world finds out they've violated the UN resolution and they want proof, but the unit is ambushed and everybody is killed except Vexile and her pal Leon, who is taken prisoner. Vexile gets away by jumping into the sea. She wakes later in Maria's home and nothing is like she expected it would be.

    Tokyo has been reduced to a primitive village, all the skyscrapers are gone. It's as if Japan has returned to the past. Vexile is confused, but not for long. Maria is the leader of a group of revolutionaries who wants to overthrow the Daiwa, the corperation that is running the country. Daiwa are also the manufacture of androids which are indistinguishable from humans. Daiwa's grip on the country seems unshakable.

    Leon has been captured by Daiwa and Vexile must save him, but that's the least of her problems. Daiwa has come up with a scheme to turn all the humans in the world into androids and Vexile and her new gal pal Maria have to stop them. To do this they have to battle not only machine and android, but huge metallic worm like monsters as well. Can she do it? What do you think?

    This movie held me captive, but then I've always been a bit of a scifi buff. The animation is very good, the soundtrack is too, but the best animation and sound in the world doesn't a movie make. It's the story that counts and this story is aces, a woman in serious trouble, tough bad guys, an insurmountable problem, stories don't get any better than this....more info
  • Love, Pain and Adventure too
    Vexille is a animated sci-fi action triller set in the future. Brought to you by the creators of Appleseed with original score by Paul Oakenfold.

    I am not a huge Anime, but I have to say this one has an in-depth story, along with realistic computer animation, which make this a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat and I would imagine that if you are a huge anime fan that you'll really like this, because I'm not and I enjoyed it. This move has love, pain, adventure, and a love for humanity all wrapped up in it. Prepare yourself for an action packed adventure that you will not forget....more info
  • Super Movie, Super Animation, Super Bad Guys, Super Monsters too
    The time is seventy years in the future and the Japanese have taken robotic technology to a whole nother level, combining robotics with biology. When the Japanese first started going down this road, the UN passed a resolution which forbade this kind of android technology, so caused Japan to withdrew from the world community, hiding their country under an electronic shield which kept everyone and everything, including satellite images out.

    The book opens with a meeting held by Daiwa Industiries, everybody at the meeting dies just before SWORD, a high tech, super trained commando unit raids the meeting. It seems the Japanese have gone ahead and created the most dangerous kind of android. SWORD must infiltrate into Japan and get to the bottom of it all.

    Vexile is a tough and determined female soldier who was on that raid and she is a member of the unit that sneaks into Japan. The unit is ambushed, everybody is killed save Vexile who gets away and her pal Leon who gets captured. Now Vexile must save Leon, but that's not her only problem. It seems like Tokyo just isn't there anymore, the Japanese people, those who are left, are something less than human and the whole world is in danger and Vexile must save it along with Leon.

    This is a good story with great animation and super sound. There is plenty of tension, great bad guys and super monsters who seem very much like sandworms right out of the pages of DUNE. I really enjoyed this movie.

    Review submitted by Captain Katie Osborne...more info
  • A string of pearls, stretched too thin...
    VEXILLE is an odd film. There's much to like, but there's a lot that's puzzling. The film has several strong scenes, sequences and set pieces, yet never seems to string them together into a total coherent work. It ends up as an enjoyable enough experience, although not one that will go down as a classic of the genre.

    The movie is set in 2077 A.D. Humanity is becoming more technologically dependent, but the United Nations has decided to outlaw the most advanced applications in the field of robotics. Ten years before the film's opening, Japan has cut itself off from the rest of the world. While some trading vessels still sail into Japanese waters, physical and electronic barriers prevent all outsiders from knowing what has taken place over the past ten years.

    Enter Vexille and the rest of her team. Vexille works for the United States Air Force and their mission is to infiltrate and disable the forced communications blackout. Naturally, the changes within Japan have been dramatic, and the mission is far more dangerous and important than any of the planners have realized.

    There is a lot to like about VEXILLE and I would like to be able to say that it's a great piece of work. However, the whole never manages to completely hold together. There are long stretches where the pacing slows to a crawl. The genuinely impressive sequences tend to be followed by uninspired scenes which really hurt the flow of the movie.

    For a perfect example of this feeling of frustration I felt, let me go over the entire fifteen minute pre-credit sequence. During these scenes we see an action-packed fight sequence, showcasing the computer generated animated effects at their finest. The pacing is great, the direction is exciting. But there's one problem: we have no context in which to place this action. We have no idea who the good guys are, who the bad guys are. We don't know their motivations. We don't know why they are fighting. We don't know what the benefit would be to the winner or the peril that would be faced by the loser. Everything looks great; it's just hard to care.

    There are many plainly interesting science-fiction ideas in the film. Looking back over the movie, there are a lot of great moments and concepts which -- unfortunately -- aren't given a fantastic movie in which to grow. That is probably the most frustrating thing about VEXILLE. One suspects that even something as simple as stronger and more aggressive editing could have resulted in a much more impressive and powerful movie....more info
  • Sharp & stylish, but short of greatness
    OK, Vexille is the latest in modern anime, of which I haven't watched for quite awhile. Blending CGI and animation as is the popular trend nowadays, the film looks fantastic, and delivers some of the best looking anime I've seen. The suits of SWORD and their transport Helo, are amazing to gawk at.

    The characters, being typical anime movie action types are familiar, and nothing new, however seeing them look this good almost makes up for it. Plot is well, convoluted, in that Japan advances robotics to a level where they supersede humans and replace them...while keeping all of this a secret from the rest of the world. I know it's anime but perhaps the CGI "realness" look jarred me with it's typical anime story.

    I wanted to like this more than I do, but for some reason I just couldn't 5 star it. It has all the right looks, the right sounds(I only watched in Japanese, I normally hate english dubbed anime), the right action in an action anime; the story actually picked up a bit after the initial infiltration, but the finale left me a bit underwhelmed as it was quite predictable. All in all, not a bad effort, but not a great one. Worth seeing though. ...more info
  • Pretty good sci-fi show
    I am not much of an anime fan, but I do like a good sci-fi show and this one was pretty good.

    The animation of everything that was non-human was fantastic (in my newbie-to-anime eyes). The metallic structures were perfect. The sunsets, explostions, splatters, etc. were wonderfully done. The human faces (and to some extent, the body movements) were not as good - but that is understandable. We humans spend so much time actively looking at faces and body language as compared to cars, sunsets and explosions, that the art cannot stand up to that type of detail.

    Anyway, the story is pretty strong, although you need to pay attention - sometimes they over-narrate and sometimes there's none at all. I got a bit confused when with the two main female characters' (Vexille and Maria) similarity to one another.

    Nonetheless, I liked it. Recommended for sci-fi fans....more info
  • Let Down
    Alright. So I was wanting to watch this movie for a while. I saw it at Target, and I loved the Appleseed movies. So I was hopeful for it and plugged it on my family's netflix queue-after my mom wouldn't let me rent it at blockbuster. Now I'm glad she stopped me.

    Normally I only half watch things, turning on my faithful Laptop Toshi and sign onto aim. For Vexille, I didn't. I dimmed the lights and watched it in my room alone.

    It started good. It could have been a very good movie.

    Until it turned depressing.

    The animation was gorgeous. But the story was horribly depressing. The ending, very Japanese, left hope for the future after massive tragedy.

    But hey, if that's your sort of thing, go ahead....more info
  • Vexing agents
    It doesn't come as a huge surprise that "Vexille" is from the people who brought the world "Appleseed" and its even better sequel "Appleseed Ex Machina."

    And in "Vexille," the cyberpunk flavor, the big mecha, and the futuristic world full of political and technological conflict are all firmly in place, along with some pretty slam-bang action sequences and a darker, grittier feeling. While it lacks some character development and feels rather bleak at times, it's still a pretty entertaining story -- now if only it had fleshed out the main cast a little more.

    About seventy years in the future, the world is worried about the advancement of robotics technology. So the UN orders them restricted, and Japan decides to cut itself off from the rest of the world.

    But ten years later, a biomechanical leg shows the UN just what has been going on in Japan. So the American tech police known as SWORD are sent into Japan to find out if the isolated country has been doing illegal robotics research, which no other country allows. They aren't, and the movie ends there. Seriously, the Daiwa Corporation has decided to guide mankind's evolution through machinery, and the the SWORD agents are met with a very warm, nasty welcome.

    After being rescued by the rebel Maria, Vexille finds that the biorobotics Daiwa Corporation has reduced the once-proud Japan to a vast, barren slum devoid of truly human life. Even worse, a nanotech "vaccine" transforms the Japanese into mindless machines. Vexille's only hope of saving herself -- and her lover Leon -- is to join forces with a small band of rebels before Japan is completely destroyed by Daiwa.

    "Vexille" is a very different animal from the "Appleseed" movies. While it has the nimble shiny mecha and exploding buildings, the focus is on political machinations and evil corporations whose morality makes your hair stand on end. There's no utopia here for our tough heroine -- it's more like one of the outer circles of Dante's Hell.

    The scenes in Vexille's home are colourful and streamlined, set in a futuristic city. But things get darker soon, taking us to the sickly yellow light and shabby shanty town of Japan, and things don't lighten up. And that devastated Japan is a pretty brilliant creation, both in its decayed misery and in the bleak future that its few remaining "fragments of humanity" have. The big flaw: the characters spend loooooong stretches of the movie just grimly talking to each other, with too little action.

    Fortunately when there IS action, the fight scenes are top-notch in quality -- it has exploding buildings, missiles, battling mecha and chases through a marketplace. The fight scenes grow in intensity as Vexille and Maria reach the climactic confrontation with the Big Bad Guy. And the semi-apocalyptic finale is both shocking and inevitable -- as well as a helluva way to end a movie.

    And then there's the jags, which are also quite cool -- giant wormlike masses of technology and metal that devour anything they come across. Not only are they wonderfully freaky, but they come across as a sort of cyber-sandworm from "Dune." Lovely.

    And the animation is pretty astounding, though it has an oddly rotoscoped look in some action scenes. It's detailed and gloriously vivid, despite its grimy, shadowy look. And that includes exquisite details like snowflakes being individually swept from a windshield, or a reflection in a transparent helmet -- or even a smooth-skinned, nimble mecha exploding into a building with almost stunning speed. This glorious look almost makes up for the stretches of relatively action-free plot.

    Perhaps its biggest weakness is in the characterization. It feels like they put a lot of effort into creating lifelike-looking characters. But despite the spunky Vexille and some touching moments from the Japanese cyborgs, the characters never quite come alive. Call it the "Final Fantasy: Spirits Within" effect. The best-rounded character is probably Maria, the tragic rebel leader who also provides a little romantic tension for our elf-faced heroine.

    "Vexille" is a flawed little semiprecious gem -- brilliant animation, a tough heroine and mildly horrific Japan. Flawed, but has plenty of chills and explosions....more info
  • Ultra-Real, Hyper-Paranoid assault on the Visual Cortex
    There are scenes, images and sequences in this film that will simply astound you. And this holds true for the whole gamut ranging from complex chase and battle scenes to scenes as simple as a dimly lit room. The film has a great command of a visual langauge that will evoke mood and feeling. This alone is worth giving it a look.

    But it does have some weak points. The basic story is about a band of rebels that need to stop an evil corporation from hatching its plan to eradicate humans and take over the world. Pretty much the whole story right there. So it is a bit thin on both plot and story.

    Worth watching because it is almost a tour-de-force of visual imagination but, and as ironic as it sounds, even though there is a whole lot of action, not a whole lot seems to happen because the story and plot are so thin. ...more info
  • The best
    This is the best anime full-length movie I've seen to date. Fantastic audio, powerful images, easy-to-follow storyline and just all around good entertainment. The chase scene is as different as it is tense.

    We were just about to give up on anime when we got this one.
    ...more info
  • animation = good, movie = bad
    yeah, not sure what i was expecting when i watched this movie. But sufice it to say i was disapointed.

    If you have more then 2 brain cells and are over the age of 10 this movie will bore you in its plotless bumbling. If only they had spent as much time on the story and character development as they spent on animating the large variety of j-pop hairstyles this would have been a great movie. Story, we don't need story, we have HAIR!

    Interesting concepts and great potential wasted on this organo-mechanical turd.

    to bad,


    P.S.
    Maybe i am missing something, but... whats a jag? Really? they could have just called them scrap metal sand worms. But i suppose that would have been a rip off of dune.. to late... oh wait they eat metal, my mistake, completely different....more info
  • Story, score and characters held my attention
    There's something appealing about being able to transform into an android. Too bad there's not a way to do it without harsh consequences. What madness to experiment on such a large scale. The use of advanced bio-tech made this topical even if I don't expect this kind of bio-tech to be appearing any time soon :-)

    I didn't feel like an old man having to considering whether this film would only be enjoyable by young people [It's rated PG-13]. It was enjoyable for me. This Paul Oakenfold score was a big enhancement. Voices were excellent.

    Was it predictable? Perhaps to some extent, certainly I had faith Vexille would succeed, but it moved along well and there were some significant surprises. I'd enjoy watching "Vexille" again, there was enough going on to make at least a second viewing worthwhile. And nowadays, seeing humanity win one is reassuring.
    ...more info
  • impressive cgi
    Vexille is an interesting showcase for CGI anime. The animation in parts was very impressive, however the storyline was disjointed and implausible. The action sequences were well done but lots of the dialogue didn't really go anywhere. Overall, its light entertainment but not completely satisfying....more info
  • Quality hardcore Sci-Fi in shiny, pretty anime packaging
    "Vexille" is a fantastic pastiche of various science-fiction movies, tales and characters that you've seen before (elements ranging from Dune, The Matrix, Blade Runner, The Minority Report, Waterworld, Judge Dredd comic books, Mad Max, etc.) yet surprisingly is your rare feature-length anime film that actually maintains a coherent narrative from start to finish. While many reviewers have commented that the story is nothing original, I for one found the premise fascinating - a Japan who sinks back into total isolation after refusing to comply with UN restrictions on robotic technology and the subsequent U.S. special forces covert mission to investigate whats behind Japan's robotic curtain. This premise alone provides numerous social commentary talking points in regards to Japan's isolationism after first encountering Western traders, parallels with Japan's Imperialist drive leading to WWII and a good handful of standard sci-fi couch talk regarding Robotics and AI.

    But forget the subtext for a minute. The animation is extremely well done utilizing the hybrid CG, rotoscoping and hand drawn style thats becoming prevalent in anime today. Mechanical designs are solid and intricate throughout and characters are all immaculately rendered and animated.

    While I would've loved to give this disc 5 stars the lack of ANY special features (except for a handful of short trailers) was surprising. Regardless, the quality of video transfer is excellent and proper 5.1 Japanese and English audio tracks are provided....more info
  • Superb animation and plot - very impressive movie
    There is a lot of goodness to say about this movie and very little drawback. Let's start with the one thing that I didn't fully like then move on to the good stuff.

    Vexille Soundtrack
    The soundtrack, done by Paul Oakenfold was really good - but a little to hardcore in some of the action/fight scenes. We had to keep turning the volume down during those parts then turn it back up for dialogue. This is just a personal preference - many of you will likely love the heavy feel to it.

    Ok that's it for what I didn't completely like!

    Animation - superb. There was however, a very interesting aspect to the animation. The details on the characters (the people) were scaled back when compared to the details on the environment/effects/buildings/etc. You could see rich wood grain on the walls of buildings, but the character's hair barely moved in a harsh wind. Skin features were missing, yet mechanical aspects to body armor were complete with detail. It was an interesting perspective that the environment was more detailed than the actual people. Even things such as lighting effects from a vehicle were amazing to watch.

    Plot - also superb, and very impressive offering from Japan. Vexille is the main character of the movie - but you don't find out that it's actually the character's name until half-way into the movie. It starts out with a bang - Japan has cut off all uncontrolled contact with the outside world and has erected a very impressive barrier/shield around the entire island to prevent signals coming in or out - basically a total blackout of the island. A team of elite soldiers operating outside the auspices of the US and United Nations is tasked to infiltrate the island - the first "visitors" in 10 years - to determine if they are building a prohibited bio-mechanical technology. What's been going on in Japan for the last 10 years since the blackout? You'll have to watch the movie and see.

    This is a full length feature with exciting action sequences, violence, a bit of romance, and an effective storyline that has made me want to watch more animated movies like this. Sci-fi is thick in the plot, so expect a lot of "tech".

    We watched it with the English audio track and no subtitles, but you can watch it in native language with English subtitles if desired. There are a few special previews on the DVD, but they are mostly advertisements of other Japanese animations that are now available for purchase. Highly recommended for fans of action/adventure, sci-fi, and animation - even for those who don't necessarily choose animated movies, you'll forget that you're watching animation!...more info
  • Average
    I'm not an anime fan. But I gave 'Vexille' a shot as it was not traditional anime as it was fully rendered CGI style. While some of the visuals were pretty nice, this film did not change my view on anime. There's some great looking stuff going on, the music isn't bad, but the story/plot is absolutely incomprehensible.

    'Vexille' is a pretty decent visual treat, but if you are looking for some substance, then skip this one....more info
  • Entertainment
    This is a decent "japanimation" type flick if you are into that sort of thing. The story is entertaining and the voice acting is acceptable. Graphically it is well done as most films of this type tend to be. I find it a bit difficult to review as I personally don't often watch this type of movie....more info