Fullmetal Alchemist (film)

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Fullmetal Alchemist
Poster of the film.
Theatrical release poster
Japanese 鋼の錬金術師
Directed by Fumihiko Sori
Produced by Yumihiko Yoshihara
Written by Hiromu Arakawa
Screenplay by Fumihiko Sori
Takeshi Miyamoto
Story by Hiromu Arakawa
Based on Fullmetal Alchemist
by Hiromu Arakawa
Starring Ryosuke Yamada
Tsubasa Honda
Dean Fujioka
Ryuta Sato
Jun Kunimura
Fumiyo Kohinata
Yasuko Matsuyuki
Music by Reiji Kitasato
Cinematography Keiji Hashimoto
Edited by Chieko Suzaki
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • 19 November 2017 (2017-11-19) (New York)
  • 1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)
Running time
135 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Box office $8 million[1]

Fullmetal Alchemist is a 2017 Japanese dark fantasy science fiction adventure film directed by Fumihiko Sori, starring Ryosuke Yamada, Tsubasa Honda and Dean Fujioka and based on the manga series of the same name by Hiromu Arakawa, covering the first four volumes of the original storyline.[2] It was released in Japan by Warner Bros. on 1 December 2017.[3][4][5][6] The theme song of the film, Kimi no Soba ni Iru yo, is performed by Misia.

Plot[edit]

In the country of Amestris, Edward Elric and his younger brother Alphonse live in the rural town of Resembool with their mother Trisha while self-learning alchemy at a young age. When the brothers commit the taboo act of Human Transmutation to resurrect Trisha after she dies of illness, it backfires and they suffer the consequences via the Law of Equivalent Exchange: Edward loses his left leg, while Alphonse is dragged into the Gate of Truth. Edward then sacrifices his right arm to save his brother's soul and bind it to a suit of armor via a blood seal, later replacing his missing limbs with "automail" prosthetics. Edward later receives an invitation by Colonel Roy Mustang to join the military so he can research a means of restoring Alphonse's body. After becoming a State Alchemist with the title "Fullmetal Alchemist", accompanied by their childhood friend and Automail mechanic Winry Rockwell, Edward begins his quest with Alphonse to find the legendary philosopher's stone which could repair their bodies.

Years later, Edward and Alphonse confront a cultist named Father Cornello, whom they believe is using a philosopher's stone to recruit the people of Liore. As Mustang arrives to personally handle the situation, Edward exposes Cornello while the stone is revealed to be a fake. After reaching East City and spending the night at the home of Major Maes Hughes and his pregnant wife, the brothers are provided with lodging when Major General Hakuro introduces them to Shou Tucker, a bio-alchemy authority who obtained his State Alchemist credentials by creating a talking chimera. As the brothers become fast friends with the man's young daughter Nina and their dog Alexander, Tucker suggests Edward to find Dr. Tim Marcoh as he created a philosopher's stone prior to going into hiding. Alphonse remains behind to be examined by Tucker, who causes Alphonse to question his existence, while Edward and Winry head to Marcoh's last known whereabouts.

Though Marcoh was murdered by Cornello's benefactor Lust as he and Winry find him, Edward acquires the man's notes and asks Hughes to decipher them while unknowingly alienating Alphonse to keep him safe. Hughes later makes a horrific discovery from his investigation and ends up being killed by Lust's associate Envy, who assumes Mustang's form to frame the colonel for the murder. Edward manages to escape being interrogated with help from Mustang's aide Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, using what he could deduce from the notes to investigate the clandestine Fifth Laboratory. At the same time, after revealing the new talking chimera that he created from Nina and Alexander, Tucker forces Alphonse and Winry to accompany him to the Fifth Laboratory, where they find Edward as he verbally realizes that the Philosopher's Stone is created from humans.

Tucker confirms Edward's realization, justifying their respective actions of selfishly manipulating life before Lust kills him while revealing herself as a homunculus. After Lust cryptically hints of her group's reach in the government and an upcoming event that Edward has a vital role in, Hakuro reveals the Mannequin Soldier homunculi and gets killed when he prematurely activates them. Mustang has Riza and their men keep the Mannequin Soldiers from flooding out of the laboratory while he confronts Lust and Envy, killing the former while ripping her philosopher's stone core from her body. While Mustang gives Edward the stone so he can restore Alphonse, Edward instead uses it to appear before his brother's body and promises to find another way to restore him. Edward then returns to his reality to reaffirm Alphonse's existence to him. Sometime after, as Gluttony mourns Lust's death, Envy is revealed to have survived Mustang's attack but has been diminished to its true parasitic form as a result.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Director Fumihiko Sori

The film was originally planned to be produced in 2013 but because of low budget and also technology, it was delayed until it was officially announced for production in May 2016. According to the director's press conference in March 2017:

That’s right. Well, since the main characters are the two brothers, where there is Ed, there will always be Al. Even just based on that, the amount of CG used becomes enormous. In this work, I’m using a technology that was used in Hollywood movies such as The Avengers. We’re using a lot new techniques that were never used in Japanese movies before, I would like to boost Japan’s CG level with this movie."

Since the original story consists of 27 volumes, I cut it down in to two hours, but we will stay faithful to the manga. I can’t tell you much details yet, but I think that you can guess what will be the main story based from the cast that was already announced. Since I’m a big fan of the original myself, I don’t plan to change the setting, the world view, and make a different story, so please don’t worry about that. Of course we will have the philosopher's stone coming out [somewhere in the story].[7][excessive quote]

On adapting the source material, Fumihiko Sori said, "I want to create a style that follows the original manga as much as possible. The cast is entirely Japanese, but the cultural background is Europe. However, it's a style that doesn't represent a specific race or country." Regarding the faithfulness of the adaptation, which has characters of non-Japanese ethnicity, the director said, "There will never be a scene in which a character says something that would identify him/her as Japanese."

Sori told Oricon he has a deep affection for the story that tells the "truth of living," and said, "It is my dearest wish to turn this wonderful story into a film, and it is not an exaggeration to say that I am living for this reason." He added that he "wants to create a wonderful film that uses techniques that challenge Hollywood," and noted that nowadays Japanese filmmaking techniques have progressed greatly.[2]

On 19 February 2018, the film released on Netflix as a Netflix Original Film.

Filming was spotted in June 2016 in the Italian town of Volterra

Principal photography took place in Italy. Shooting was spotted in Volterra on the first week of June and some scenes continued filming in Japan from June and finished on 26 August 2016.

Japanese VFX company OXYBOT inc. provided the visual effects for the film.[2]

Reception[edit]

The film received mostly mixed reviews.[8] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 42% approval rating based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10.[9] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10]

Sequel[edit]

In July 2017, Sori and Yamada said a sequel was in development.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Full Metal Alchemist Box Office Mojo Listing". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Live-Action Fullmetal Alchemist Film's On-Set Photos Show Yamada in Costume as Ed". Anime News Network. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "鋼の錬金術師". eiga.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  4. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu (31 August 2016). "Live-Action "Fullmetal Alchemist" Filming Has Wrapped Up in Japan". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  5. ^ Wilson, Scott (21 November 2016). "First trailer released for 'Fullmetal Alchemist' live-action film". Japan Today. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Live-Action Fullmetal Alchemist Film Reveals December 2017 Release, Mustang's Costume". Anime News Network. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  7. ^ https://hagarenmovie.tumblr.com/post/157573232695/translation-entermix-most-anticipated-japanese
  8. ^ Nordine, Michael (2 March 2018). "'Fullmetal Alchemist' Review Roundup: Life Continues to Be Pain for Anime Fans". IndieWire. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Fullmetal Alchemist (Hagane no renkinjutsushi) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Fullmetal Alchemist Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  11. ^ Peters, Megan (3 July 2017). "Fullmetal Alchemist Live-Action Movie Sequel Announced". Comicbook.com. Retrieved 23 May 2018.

External links[edit]