As of this As of this writing, the live-action adaptation of the manga smash hit ATTACK ON TITAN was released roughly a month ago and it opened its big fucking titan arms to generally mixed reviews. Most people didn’t know what to make of it: fans of the original manga and anime felt slighted and offended at this strange adaptation of a story they love while people who didn’t really give two shits about the source material in the first place were either bored by the movie or found it at the very least interesting. As mentioned in a previous review, I was part of a small minority of people that found the movie to be entertaining at the least; it was as shallow as an 80’s Slasher Horror Movie and I enjoyed ATTACK ON TITAN (2015) by seeing it as such.
With that being said, I had some hopes and expectations for the sequel END OF THE WORLD in place before going into the cinema to check it out. I wasn’t expecting the ATTACK ON TITAN movies to become masterpieces but I was rather looking forward to GIANT NAKED CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST PART 2 after having a fun time with part 1 but thirty minutes into said movie, all those happy thoughts were brutally murdered by Writer’s Stupidity and plot holes as big as the hole the Titans made in the wall by slamming their faces against it.
To be fair, the first few minutes of END OF THE WORLD did a fucking good job of setting up the coming mysteries and questions. Part 1 ended with a major cliffhanger and the obvious follow-up was to start giving answers over the course of the two hour sequel and END OF THE WORLD sadly fulfilled only half of the equation. While the sequel opened impressively with all guns blazing and fuck knows how much blood all over the place (all of which happens before the title card even appears) and while it did ask the right questions especially as to what the fuck is up with Giant Naked Cannibals and where the hell did they come from, the answers provided range from being predictably boring to outright stupid. Long story short, they’re the kinds of twist one would expect from a B-Horror Movie or something written by George A. Romero where everything is an EVIL Government and/or Corporate Conspiracy and considering how I compared part 1 to 80’s Slasher Movies, I shouldn’t be too surprised. Disappointed, yes, but surprised? Not so much.
All the build up is wasted when answers that obviously weren’t given much thought are used to justify the setting’s biggest mysteries because the movie’s priority was not the conclusion of the story or the character arcs of those involved: its focus was locked on to watching the Reskinned Giant Naked Cannibals (Titan Shifters as the source material would call them) punch the living manshit out of each other. And punch the fuck out of each other they did in some really epic looking fistfights. If you wanted to see a gigantic version of STREET FIGHTER happen on the big screen only a bit slower because of how big the fuckers are despite how shitty the story could be, then you’d get your moneys’ worth from END OF THE WORLD.
That being said, everything mentioned in the previous paragraphs are the only good things I can say for ATTACK ON TITAN II: END OF THE WORLD because everything else that was carried over from part 1 was turned from something with potential into pure steaming bullshit.
The characters who were at the very least interesting in the first installment have all been dumbed down to Anime Stereotypes even flatter than those in anime adaptation. If part 1 effectively depicted the members of the Scouting Legion as Child Soldiers suffering from PTSD, part 2 decides to kill all that fucking character development and simplify entire character personalities and actions into shit that could be described with a single word, or three at the most. Armin is still the Useless BFF, Mikasa has been downgraded to nothing but The Love Interest, the villains are your usual Required Murderous Philosophers seen in every anime ever (only this time they have armed minions) and Jean is still The Asshole. To further prove this point, let’s focus on Eren for a bit since he’s the Main Character and the one who gets the biggest fucking shaft in the Character Development Department.
In the first movie, Eren had a sense of complexity around him due to the trauma he got from surviving the initial Titan attack before he joined the Scouting Legion; he wasn’t the One-Note Moron from the anime that always got a War Boner but rather, he was a teenaged soldier armed with oversized boxcutters who understandably didn’t know how to cope with what the fuck was going on around him. In the sequel, all he does is yell at shit he doesn’t understand instead of trying to figure some stuff out or at least fight the powers that be, which he did one movie ago. It’s like Eren somehow lost all sense of self-awareness he may have had before and replaced it with the brain of a brat that throws a tantrum every time something bad happens, which is basically his response to pretty much every fucking major event in END OF THE WORLD.
There’s a plot twist? Eren cries. Someone betrays him? Eren throws a hissy bitch fit. Things go South with the emergence of the more powerful Titans? Someone gets bitch slapped to death by a Titan? Guess what the fuck Eren decides to do before remembering that he has the power to transform into an equally powerful Giant Naked Cannibal. It’s a miracle that he didn’t throw bitch fits at the enemy Titans while stuck in Titan mode but even that would’ve been more interesting that the majority of the movie.
Many of the plot points are rushed and haphazardly concluded just so that the movie can get back to watching Titan Fight Night and characters and opposition are introduced only to be killed off a few seconds after talking thus nullifying their purpose in the story since they’re literally forgotten after their deaths, all of which lead to many Plot Points being left unresolved with a fuckton of Plot Holes left in the movie’s wake as it rushes towards the end credits.
Speaking of Titans, I forgot to mention the fact that for a movie called ATTACK ON TITAN, END OF THE WORLD suffers from a massive lack of Titans since it literally focuses on only three fucking Titans. That’s it; instead of following what part 1 relished in, part 2 decided to ignore the big fucking army of Giant Naked Cannibals that somehow vanished from the inner walls they supposedly occupied in favor of two Titans that punch each other and a third one that was late to the party because it forgot there was a fucking Titan party in the first place. Rather than being the Ominous Shambling Threat they were in the first movie, all those Giant Naked Cannibals that laid waste to Eren’s childhood home are now nothing but wall decor that no one even notices because of how much fucking dust is covering them. Maybe once in a while an observant character would notice a random Giant Naked Cannibal in the distance but that’s as much Titan as you’d get in a movie called ATTACK ON TITAN.
Doing so also led to one of the movie’s major pitfalls, which was its lack of depth and stakes. Part 1, while being a glorified 80’s Slasher Horror Movie, at least gave a great sense of dread and urgency when the Titan threat was established but by part 2, the threat that was introduced in its predecessor is something that everyone can just ignore because fuck it, someone found the fucking rocket launcher. Even if the movie’s Major Antagonists reveal their (admittedly) interesting motivations, their goals and desires are ignored and pushed aside because Titans punching the fuck out of each other is obviously more philosophical than some rhetoric.
Thanks to a rushed story and an apparent distaste for all the small steps of progress the first movie made, ATTACK ON TITAN II: END OF THE WORLD feels like an incomplete story that just raised a bunch of questions, established some plot points and then left things at that while expecting you to pay a fucking shitload because the name ATTACK ON TITAN is bound to rack up some money from its fanbase. Whether or not you’re a fan of the franchise or not, END OF THE WORLD has nothing to offer outside of a bunch of interesting ideas and Titans punching the fuck out of each other in slow motion. While I know I won’t be doing this any time soon, it may be a better idea to give the anime or manga a shot if you’re new to the universe of ATTACK ON TITAN. I found the anime more generic and annoying than entertaining but it’s sure as shit a motherfucking masterpiece when compared to END OF THE WORLD.
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