Kite Blu-Ray Review
There’s an old saying (at least I think its old), the book is always better. Plenty of people have flexed that term out over the years in terms of other pop-culture. So I’m sure it’s highly probable some have said the anime is better. That statement has never been truer when it comes to the movie KITE, but for me to state that truthfully, that’d require me to watch the anime. And after this tripe, I’m not sure if I have the energy to.
KITE is a gory, sexualized story set against a sci-fi backdrop. We’re in an uncertain future, or present, after an unexplained financial collapse. We follow around characters, who are themselves, uncertain about the plot or even where they are. We meet a barely legal girl by the name of Sawa (Eisley). She darts back and forth in this dystopian landscape which seems like it’s made up of abandoned warehouses and crummy apartment complexes. She either looks like she woke up from a horrendous night of abusing drugs or she’s donning a pink wig like some kind of comic-con wet dream. So it’s no surprise she’s addicted to a memory erasing drug and is literally penetrating the prostitution underground. She does this all in the hopes of finding the man who killed her family.
Sawa’s quest for vengeance is an unfortunately bland one, despite her stylized kill moves. It doesn’t help that we’re dropped right in to her quest without any emotional draw to her quandary. Instead of development, we’re given some grotesque scenes of wrinkly men running their fingers up and down Sawa or cookie cutter fight scenes straight out of a bad Asian fight film. It may just be poor pacing, but I found myself not fully understanding what exactly was happening until about 20 minutes in to this short movie. By the time I realized what was going on, I pieced together the rest of the movie and where it was going. Then I tried as patiently as I could to wait for the end.
The dead giveaway to the ending is the acting choice of Samuel L. Jackson, who plays a policeman helping Sawa along the way. I may have inadvertently told you how it’s going to end just by describing the story. Of course, you may also be asking yourself what Jackson saw in a movie like this. The leading lady, India Eisley, is a bit of a mystery to me and I’ve never seen her in anything else. I’m sure this isn’t her first role, or will be her last, but it’s sad that her character is so wooden. Her character regurgitates plenty of lines spoken before in much better movies and the dim character interactions drain any substance. Even the over the top violence we’re subjected to lacks a grim sense of fun.
If there’s any kind of silver lining to be found, it’s that KITE is shot well, has a distinct style to the electronic soundtrack and layouts. However, there are some sloppy moments that put my previous compliment into question. If this is in anyway close to the original work, it could just be a case of art that’s been overhyped by its fanbase. Regardless, leave the anime stories to the animators.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2:39:1) The clear presentation helps us visualize every dark corridor and smoky street, but also allows us to see the shoestring budget they’re working with. Some of the color schemes work really well in this movie, and come out on this blu-ray.
Audio: (English Dolby TrueHD 5.1) The frenetic soundtrack and angry acting come through crystal clear. There’s no problems with the audio.
The Making of Kite (25:18): Since this is the only feature on this blu-ray, it’s expected that it would be an all encompassing feature. You get everything from interviews, set design, shooting, acting, and every once and a while they touch upon the anime it’s based on. Just the discussion of adapting the anime into a live-action movie would have been worth it’s own feature, but I get the feeling they realized they made a mistake.