Okay, I’ll admit it, I screamed when I first saw that this movie was being made. Fullmetal Alchemist is one of those mangas (and subsequently animes) that outshines literally every single other one that exists. It is the only one I have ever really dedicated my time to in a manner that would permit me to know as much about the world as possible. I’ve watched a few others and liked them okay, but ultimately FMA is the only one that has ever stuck with me.

So, naturally, the moment it became available to watch on Netflix I dedicated an afternoon to it.

IMG_0615The live action Fullmetal Alchemist does a few things really well. The first (with the unfortunate exception of Edward Elric himself) is that the casting for these roles was absolutely magnificent. I cannot even begin to express how deeply in love I am with the casting for Maes Hughes specifically. They did wonderfully with Colonol Mustang, Hawkeye, Alphonse, Tucker, Lust, Envy, and Gluttony. I must admit, I didn’t really like Winry, but Edward by far was the most disappointing.

Ultimately, this Edward just didn’t match the true character of Edward Elric. I can’t tell you how annoyed I was with his rather paltry apology to Winry when she was angry with him over his automail. It just…wasn’t how Ed would have acted. And 99% of the acting followed that setup. Ed wasn’t himself. Plain and simple.

But I got past that. I expected differences, naturally. And the special effects were genuinely so phenomenal that I didn’t even care at the end of the day. I think the best parts about this film, and the coolest by far, were the special effects. Whoever was on that team did such an amazingly impressive job that I legitimately felt as though these pieces from the anime could actually be real. And that is a true and commendable achievement. If I were rating this movie on the effects alone, the movie would receive a solid nine.

Unfortunately, the plot was just…awful. I understand that they were fitting all of this information into a much more condensed time frame, but it just didn’t work. And maybe this is the fault of the story itself, for it simply wasn’t meant to be shortened. I’m not sure why the filmmakers didn’t decide to try and set up for a second movie, but chose to end it rather pathetically instead. Even the bit with Envy at the end doesn’t save the possibility for a sequel.

Frankly, they ruined everything with that plot.

I can’t get behind all the changes, the missing pieces, and the plot lines that they have completely removed. Where was Scar? Father? Why did they kill essential characters? Shao Tucker didn’t deserve the extended plot line he got. At the end of the day, you will have to judge for yourself. But I was disappointed.

As thrilled as I was to see all of these most beloved characters in live action, it didn’t change the fact that whoever wrote the screenplay butchered the entire story. And you can have all the cool special effects in the world, but they wont save your film if your screenplay is trash.

I still believe that this movie is worth watching, but truthfully it’s only worth it if you’re already a fan of the show. If not, you’re better off watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (not the original cause that one just doesnt live up, to be honest). And even as a fan already, you’re going to be a little disappointed.

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4 thoughts on “Fullmetal Alchemist (Live Action!)

  1. Awww, I would’ve loved to watch this but I love the anime SO much. i just watched it last month. My first anime this year actually. im afraid my love for it gets affected by watching the movie..
    Nonetheless, great review. 🙂

    1. Ah! I’m so glad that you loved it. Fullmetal Alchemist is honestly so brilliant. But yeah, the movie wasn’t too great. I feel like I enjoyed watching the trailers (special effects and all that) more than the movie itself, lol.

      1. Uhm, well that all depends on which version you watched. Cause there is the original Fullmetal Alchemist which began in 2003 and ran until 2004. The manga wasn’t finished when this one was made, so the author let the people making it run off with their own storyline (and it’s got some holes, to be honest).

        I prefer Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which follows the manga’s storyline. That came out in 2009 and ran to 2010.

        Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa follows the first series (2003/2004) and is basically a sequel to the show. It was interesting, I’ll be honest. But I was mad at the ending, lol.

        And finally, there is Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, which is kind of a spinoff from Brotherhood.

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