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Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

a.k.a. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

a.k.a. Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no Tobira

cbmov-2
Genre: Action
Company: Bandai Visual/Sunrise
Format: 1 movie
Dates: 9/1/2001

Mars is under siege! Just before Halloween 2071, a terrorist bomb destroys a tanker truck on Highway One, close to a densely-populated crater city. There are casualties up to half a mile from the blast – five hundred killed or injured by what appears to be a biochemical weapon. The reward for the bomber’s capture is a massive 300 million wulongs; there are four humans and a dog who really need the money. Down on their luck, as usual, the crew of the Bebop jump on the case.

summary by Gatts

 

Reviewed: 04/09/2004 by
Grade: 95% av-Gatts

Highs: Fantastic characters; nice music; quality animation; interesting plot

Lows: Nothing really

I have been eagerly waiting in anticipation for Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door for quite some time now, and after finally viewing it, I can say that it lived up to all of my expectations. I was completely absorbed by the movie from the opening sequence to the ending credits. It seems like a two-hour episode of the television series, which is definitely not a bad thing.

All of the characteristics of Cowboy Bebop you’d expect to see have made the transition to the big screen. High caliber animation is very fluid and sharp. Although none of the original music is present, Kanno Yoko has created a wonderful soundtrack to accompany the film. All of your favorite Bebop crew get a fair amount of screen time, and the new characters introduced are interesting and well developed.

The storyline is top notch with some great dialogue throughout the film. There is never a dull moment, and the movie features a nice blend of action, comedy and drama. The plot is intelligent and keeps you engrossed. There are also some very impressive action sequences which highlight the fluid animation style.

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door is one of the best movies based on an anime series that I have seen. It manages to retain all of the aspects fans enjoy, but at the same time it adds new elements to keep it fresh. While fans of the series will enjoy the movie, newcomers will also like it because it is independent from the series… in most aspects. I highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Reviewed: 04/09/2004 by
Grade: 89% av-Kain

Highs: Gobs o’ atmosphere; sweet action animation; gritty personalities

Lows: Story needs a dash of spice; atypical Kanno; not enough Faye play!

When a movie is this hyped following a wildly successful series, there are bound to be a few disappointing tidbits. Yeah, I had to dig pretty deep to find them, and find them I did, but that never stopped me from enjoying this work in all its glory.

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door takes a decidedly dark turn when compared to its television counterpart. I was delighted at first because what really drove Cowboy Bebop was the splendid action sequences. And even more so was the action in this movie. Combine wickedly handsome martial arts combat with flying sequences that put even the vaunted Macross Plus to shame and you have a huge Sunday-dinner-at-grandma’s-feast for the eyes. Most impressive.

And in spite of all this, I couldn’t swat away those gnat-like details that so wanted to do this movie in. Try as I might, but I wasn’t captivated by the music at all. It just didn’t seem to draw me in like Kanno songs nearly always do. Also what struck me was, surprisingly, a dearth of comedic elements. Yes, I know I said action is this movie’s claim to fame, but at times I expected Ed and Jet Black to do something that would rise a chuckle or two out of me… and it never happened. There were also very few plot twists, and the climax didn’t seem, well, climactic enough.

But inevitably I was done in by the lovable Bebop crew, and that’s why I left smiling as the credits rolled by. You can never have too much fun when the “good guys” are just a notch or two above the bad guys, morally speaking. And you can never have too much Faye Valentine!

 

Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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