Japanese director Shinji
Aramaki and internationally-acclaimed
producer John Woo (Face/Off, Brokeback Mountain) unite to create
the outstanding animated science
fiction epic Appleseed: Ex Machina
based on the Seishinsha comic book
by Shirow Masamune and a world
away from ordinary animé...
IT IS AD 2133. More than half Earth's population has been killed off
by a non-nuclear global war and the planet is uninhabitable. Unable to find
a grain of hope, the survivors created a high-tech 22nd Century answer to the
Garden of Eden: Olympus.
Those injured in the war have been reconditioned as human cyborgs and international
disputes are buffered by a breed of genetically-engineered humans called Bioroids
designed to be emotionless and, therefore, neutral.
But all is not well in paradise. Despite the presence of the peace-keeping ESWAT
an elite police strike-force who use huge combat robots and have world-wide
jurisdiction rogue elements have entered Olympus and are intent on gaining
control over its inhabitants.
Led by Commander Lance (Chris Hutchison), ESWAT is dispatched to the cathedral
where an unknown heavily-armed group of terrorists suspected of being
combat cyborgs is holed-up with top ranking EU officials and scientists as hostages.
And this gives the ESWAT team plenty of scope to strut their stuff. Human Duenan
(the voice of Luci Christian) and her human-cyborg partner Briareos (the voice
of David Matranga) are amazing! But of course, they have a special relationship
outside their jobs and are sworn to protect each other.
Briareos risks his life saving Duenan and is badly damaged, so comes under the
responsibility of the talented Dr Richard Kestner (John Gremillion). The delightful
Duenan is incandescent with rage when she is forced to team up with Tereus (Illich
Guardiola) a genetically-engineered soldier, grown from Briareos' DNA.
Not only is handsome Tereus identical to the pre-cyborg Briareos but he also
becomes his rival for her affections. Meaty stuff!
Duenan's friend, Vice-Minister Hitomi (Hilary Haag) introduces her to a natty
little device called Connexus that has become all the rage in Olympus. ESWAT
team member Aeacus (Mike MacRae) is among its many converts.
While ESWAT is still trying to track down the source of the terrorists, world
leaders are attending a summit led by Prime Minister Athena (Allison Sumrall).
Nike, Chief of Staff of Olympus (Shelley Calene-Black), greets Yosheno (Melissa
Davis) from Poseidon Global Industrial Technology, who assures them that her
company would have nothing to do with terrorism despite the fact that
many of the terrorists were equipped with parts from Poseidon.
One of the subjects of the peace conference is to enhance surveillance by having
Olympus controlling international satellite systems, but in some areas it is
met with suspicion and talks are at breaking point.
Charged with the responsibility of monitoring the summit, ESWAT find they are
under attack from the terrorists. Briareos is forced to kill Aeacus, who has
been acting strangely and becomes out of control. How does the long-dead Dr
Xander (Alice Fulks) fit in? Or the strange words from a dying human who has
taken part in the orchestrated riots: "We are one… We will all be one…"?
Briareos, Duenan and Tereus are forced to put aside their differences and
with the help of high-tech wizard Yoshitune (Chris Patton) work together
to defend the future of mankind.
Appleseed Ex Machina is an action-packed feature-length Japanese animation
based on the popular all-action sci-fi manga by Shirow Masamune (Ghost
In The Shell) and is an evolution of the original Appleseed
animé released in 2004.
With all the hallmarks of John Woo's films, Appleseed: Ex Machina is
a thrilling spectacle of science fiction adventure and features next-generation
technology, making it even more sophisticated and explosive than its predecessor.
Appleseed: Ex Machina is definitely a cut above the rest. Check out the
heart-stopping slow-motion gun-play, become absorbed in the entertaining story,
thrill to the all-action set-pieces, sigh at the romance and no, that's not
your heart a-fluttering it's John Woo's trademark white doves!
The real showcasing element of Appleseed: Ex Machina is the outstanding
film design and visual style. A combination of meticulous motion capture and
superb cell-shading CGI animation really make Appleseed: Ex Machina a
stand-out title for DVD collectors. The buildings are beautiful and there is
a great depth of field to every scene, with excellent use of light and shade.
The beautiful original score is by Tetsuya Takahashi and sets off the magnificent
animé. The well-paced screenplay is by Kiyoto Takeuchi.
up and drop in with the ESWAT team in this second instalment of a widely acclaimed
Japanimation Appleseed: Ex Machina is available now (released
2 June, 2008) from Warner Home Video as a two-disc collector's DVD and Blu-ray
DVD and Blu-ray Specifics: Running time: 100mins (+ extensive EC) | Certificate:
12 UK / 15 EIRE | Genre: CGI Anime Sci-fi | Special Features: Team Up
John Woo and Shinji Aramaki; Revolution Animating Ex-Machina; Commentary.
"Gorgeous art design, zippy, entertaining plot" Anime News Network
"Pumped to the max visually" Variety
"…a world away from ordinary animé... Appleseed: Ex Machina is a cut
above the rest. Check out the heart-stopping slow-motion gun-play, become absorbed
in the entertaining story, thrill to the all-action set pieces, sigh at the
romance and no, that's not your heart a-fluttering it's John Woo's trademark
white doves!" MotorBar