Kaze UK / Manga Entertainment
Planzet is the latest CG work to come over from Japan courtesy of Kaze's UK operation. It tells the story of Taishi (or Hiroshi if you watch the English dub), who is fighting for the military to get revenge for the death of his father. If I told you any more then I’d have spoiled the whole thing... not, I hasten to add, because of any big twists, but because Planzet is all of fifty-three minutes long and very little happens within that running time.
The first thing you’ll notice about Planzet is that it looks gorgeous. This is easily one of the best CGI films I’ve seen that’s striving for photo-realism with characters, environments and mechs all looking pixel perfect consistently through the entire film. The so-called uncanny valley is still at large but in such a massively reduced capacity that you’ll be gagging for a new Appleseed film to make use of the technology behind Planzet.
Unfortunately, these looks are Planzet’s sole selling point because neither story nor characters will do anything for you. The story plays out like someone took the first and last episodes of a Gundam series, intercut them with all the most depressing moments of Gunbuster and then surgically removed anything left that was at all fun or accidentally seemed to make sense. Its not so much a film with plot holes as a large group of plot holes tied together with string in the hopes that the audience won’t notice. Characters are given what are supposed to be moving death scenes but, since we were only introduced to them five minutes previously, why should we care? Why do we never see the oft-mentioned colony on Mars? If the colony can only support a limited number of people why are shuttles still going there? Why don’t they get blown up by the orbiting alien creature? And why bother even going to Mars when Earth has an impenetrable forcefield? I could go on for hours about such fundamental issues, or just as scathingly about the fact that none of the characters are remotely interesting as they constantly fail to reach even Dragonball Z levels of characterisation.
As a result, Planzet is bland, forgettable and, unforgivably for a mech film – boring.