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Parasyte: Part 2 - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Kiseiju Kanketsu Hen

Japan 2015

Genre:
Sci-Fi, Horror

Director:
Takashi Yamazaki

Cast:
Shota Sometani
Ai Hashimoto
Eri Fukatsu
Sadao Abe
Tadanobu Asano
Nao Omori
Pierre Taki
Hirofumi Arai
Jun Kunimura
Masahiro Higashide


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Parasyte: Part 2

Parasyte: Part 2 - Film Screenshot 1

Story: Shinichi Izumi (Shota Sometani) has the parasyte Migi (Sadao Abe) as his new right hand, who in Shinichi's fight against man-eating parasytes has already saved his life one or two times. But after his mother has been killed and the bond to Migi gets stronger Shinichi loses more and more of his human side. Also much to the distress of his schoolfriend Satomi (Ai Hashimoto). Meanwhile, the leader of the parasytes, mayor Takeshi Hirokawa (Kazuki Kitamura), has to decide which path to go down in the future. Scientist Ryoko Tamiya (Eri Fukatsu) wants to do some more research on humans and is aiming for a more or less peaceful path, a world in which parasytes could stand side by side with humans. However, parasytes still have to feed on humans and Ryoko's opinion is slowly starting to get questioned since she has given birth to a human child and starts to develop something similar to human character traits. Goto (Tadanobu Asano) on the other hand chooses a more aggressive approach to the matter and isn't content with Shinichi, who has already killed numerous parasytes, to be shadowed by journalist Kuramori (Nao Omori), but instead wants to see him dead.

Parasyte: Part 2 - Film Screenshot 2 Parasyte: Part 2 - Film Screenshot 3
Parasyte: Part 2 - Film Screenshot 4

Review: Reviews to the first part "Parasyte: Part 1" were rather negative, particularly from those who knew the original manga. Being a rookie to the material I couldn't concur, although I'm more of aware that you have especially high expectations and hopes for a live action adaptation of a manga/anime you love. The first installment turned out to be an interesting mix of black comedy and gory horror film, maybe also containing some kind of social criticism. And the flick in fact managed to arouse interest in the sequel. The second installment only proves that there simply wasn't enough screenplay material for two full movies, though. "Parasyte: Part 2" feels very stretched and disappoints in many respects, particularly towards the end. Still, no one will argue that there was potential here.

Parasyte: Part 2 - Film Screenshot 5

It is in fact a bit bothersome to get absorbed by a story anew when there has been a lengthy break. But in the end, this works out better than expected. After all, the first part dates back only half a year. And to be precise, all the motives from the first installment are still there, too. The parasytes demand to have the right to live as do the humans. And Tamiya still serves as the most promising aspect in the movie. As long as she at least partly stands in the limelight of events the film works out well. Eri Fukatsu ("Villain") plays a complex character that has already undergone some change and still tries to find its place in a world between parasytes and humans. Unfortunately, her story doesn't serve as a pivot and thus is concluded after a little bit over half of the flick's running time. This doesn't give her the necessary space to bring to screen the rest of her character's development in an appropriate fashion.

Parasyte: Part 2 - Film Screenshot 6

From that moment on things get really bad, though, and so it wouldn't have been a bad idea if the two-parter had been made into one single, a bit overlong movie with a few scenes cut short. Because the rest of the picture feels extremely stretched, if there even is some story left to tell, that is. Goto steps into the spotlight as the villain and although he did get some exposition, he simply remains the man/parasyte for the final showdown. He has no color and his motivation for what he does is very meager, too. Tadanobu Asano ("My Man", "Villon's Wife") almost sleepwalks through the film and doesn't manage to squeeze anything out of his role. Next to him the supporting characters aren't anything special either, which is why it doesn't even come to our mind to shed some tears for them when they kick the bucket.

Parasyte: Part 2 - Film Screenshot 7

The promise that had been made to focus more on Satomi's angle also hasn't been fulfilled. She enters the stage more prominently towards the end, but why remains a mystery. Even the more odd is a sex scene that is completely unmotivated. Was this supposed to create a stronger emotional bond leading to the finale? Difficult to say, because her appearance doesn't make much of a difference, not even during the (felt) fifth epilogue - yes, the movie doesn't know when to get an end - which is supposed to bring everything to a perfect conclusion. Well, it doesn't. The showdown is also one of those cases where you hoped for some nice action scenes, but even though the setting was supposed to bring some epic flair to the confrontation between Goto and Shinichi Izumi, nothing is actually happening! The decisive moment during the fight is even introduced as a coincidence...

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Parasyte: Part 2 - Film Screenshot 10

The special effects still don't need to hide from other movies and there are a few good ideas. Some surprises prove that something nice could have been created with them, but the director misses these opportunities. The film also wants to come across as if having some depth to its story by tackling the nature of humans, but this works out only up until the point when Tamiya is still the story's focus. After that it even seems heavy-handed and naive. It's nice to see the film not turning into a cheap action spectacle - for this the filmmakers probably didn't have the budget - but on the other hand the characters can't score either, since there is done too little with them. Moreover, the last third of the film is truely a serious disappointment which gives this otherwise not that bad manga adaptation a bitter aftertaste. And the black humor is gone, too. The first part was without a doubt the better movie. Yet, at least the flick still makes you want to watch the original.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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