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Some reviewers weren’t exactly kind to the first live-action Attack on Titan movie, and the adaptation of creator Hajime Isayama’s tale of brave youths fighting naked giants didn’t capture the hearts and minds of the movie-going public to anywhere near the extent that the smash hit anime and manga have.

But while the first film is looking like a swing and a miss, the live-action Attack on Titan is still getting a second chance, in the form of its sequel, Attack on Titan–End of the World, which hits theaters in Japan on September 19. Will the film, set to conclude the live-action version of the story, spell redemption for director Shinji Higuchi and his cast and crew?

Not in the eyes of one critic, who after watching an advance screening of the film condemned it as “miserably made.”

Film critic Toru Sano recently attended a viewing of Attack on Titan–End of the World held by distributer Toho.

▼ The trailer for Attack on Titan-End of the World

Sano also tweeted his impressions of the film, but what he didn’t do was mince words.

Sano’s remarks about the film begin with “Miserably made,” and don’t get much more positive as his tweeted review goes on. But while many fans of the Attack on Titan manga and anime have criticized the live-action version for differing from its source material, Sano doesn’t have a single complaint on that front. He does have plenty of others, though.

The critic was unimpressed with both the direction and dialogue, calling the former “pointless” until the film starts revealing the secrets to some of the plot’s mysteries. He also criticized the performance of Hiroki Hasegawa, who plays main character Eren’s cold-hearted rival Shikishima. “I don’t hate Hiroki Hasegawa,” Sano allows. “Depending on the movie, I think he’s capable of good acting. But I can’t help thinking that given the cruel nature of the dialogue…this was the only way he could perform it…[but] the more he exerts himself, the more comical it becomes. That goes for all the actors in the film.”

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Sano’s sharpest complaints, though, are centered on the film’s structure and pacing.

“After quickly revealing the truth behind its mysteries, excepting some overwrought emotional scenes, the movie becomes almost entirely action sequences. But it’s incredibly hard to follow why the people on-screen are moving about, or where they’re going when they use their 3-D maneuver gear. Overall, the scenes that combine practical special effects and post-production visual effects fail to produce any sort of catharsis.”

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The questions of “Why?” and “Where?” are persistent problems in the critic’s opinion. In describing the efforts by the characters to transport a certain dangerous, volatile cargo, Sano laments “By all rights, it should be the driving force that propels the story…but it unfolds while being so vague about where they’re starting from and where they’re going to…that it’s ineffective in producing a sense of urgency or tension.”

Sano even goes so far as to express his feeling that Attack on Titan-End of the World shouldn’t have been made, which is about as damning a comment as a critic can make about an individual film.

“At least the first film had fewer dull moments…From the beginning, they should have trimmed down some of the overly lengthy sections of the two movies, and made one movie that was about two hours long…That’s how unsatisfying this second movie is.”

Ouch. One of the most famous lines in Attack on Titan is when Eren’s childhood friend Mikasa informs him “The world is cruel,” and you could say the same thing about movie critics.

Source: Twitter/@ torusano1124 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) via Jin
Images: YouTube/Toho Movie Channel