I've never read any of the manga or seen the Japanese movies, but I did see the anime. If you'll recall I even recommended it a while back. So how does this new movie version measure up? We'll, I'm torn on that score. But I'll give a you a little background first. I can imagine that there are plenty of people who've had this pop up in their queue without knowing what it was. Even if I had no idea what it was I'd still be intrigued by the images.
So I liked it, but didn't love it. The toughest kind of review to write. Should you watch it? There are many many many worse ways to spend and hour and a half on Netflix. I'd say it's worth watching if you love gratuitous violence, Willem Dafoe, or teenage revenge fantasies. If you absolutely adore the manga, anime, and Japanese movies then you probably won't be crazy about it. But since you have all of those things already you likely don't need a shorter, whiter version of this story anyway. I think this is more for people who might have seen some of the anime (or never heard of it before) to find out if there's an American audience for anime titles on Netflix. We're out of comic books to make into movies and TV shows right now. If filmmakers don't take stories from somewhere new they might have to start coming up with original ideas. We know they don't want to deal with all that so I'd guess we're going to see more manga/anime based movies in the future. As long as they don't touch Cowboy Bebop I'll be okay with it. I just hope the next ones get the time and care they deserve.
Beth got her start writing for a site called Movie Criticism for the Retarded (which has been reborn as dorkdroppings.com. Check it out sometime), but was pulled out of an early retirement to write for Needless Things. When she isn't writing she plays video games and watches bad horror movies while eagerly awaiting the zombie apocalypse. She may try to save her husband and/or their cats, but luckily hasn't had to make those tough decisions yet. Follow beth0rama on Instagram or on Twitter @NeedlessBeth where she doesn't post often enough to be annoying, but updates way more than Google+