|Oh EA Anime Movies.|
Hello Anime Vice it’s me, M, here to subject myself to another one of Electronic Arts Anime’s that what came from the video games. Some of you may remember I have seen both of the DeadSpace animated movies, both of which received bad scores. Others may remember my review of a few more well respected animated movies and discovered the ultimate truth about me. I don’t really like movies that much. What I mean by this is simply hour and 40 minutes is too short to have as powerful a story as an anime with even eleven episodes more often than not. Regardless under a bet with Pyro_Blue I’ve taken a smack at the newest EA movie and watched, Mass Effect: Paragon Lost.
(Disclaimer: if you don’t know/like Mass Effect this movie a no go. Don’t even bother finishing the review. It would be a disservice to yourself and my time, however if you haven’t played Mass Effect go buy the trilogy it’s all out in one cheap package and I can’t recommend it enough. If you just don’t like mass effect, well I can’t talk to you because clearly you are a mythical being that doesn’t exist.)
The movie paragon lost is the story of James Vaga, from mass effect three, and how he became both a hero and a world class f@#k up in the same broad stroke. In game he explains this story in a boxing match, but I was too busy beating his ass with ladyshep to really pay attention so I don’t remember much of full story going in. Basically while setting up a colonies defense system the baddies from the second game show up and mess the colony up bad. James Vaga has to struggle with obvious paragon/renegade choices (not so subtly based of the game) in the process.
No surprise to anyone this does not, and was never going to serve as a proper introduction to the mass effect world. If someone told you that it was, even if they work for EA, they are a lying scheming pig-sow. You’re expected to have played through the first two games to fully understand it, but I’m a fan so well enough. The most interesting, if never perfect, thing about the last DeadSpace movie was the constantly shifting art based on character perspective; it gave the movie substantial life to the otherwise corpse of the movie. Paragon Lost retains none of this. In fact its art feels that special kind of bad that screams of low budget and lack of care or interest on part of the artist. The Dialogue is not just poorly acted, it’s universally bad. It suffers from cliché heroes and flat out stupid villains who all together have zero character chemistry between any of their relationships. Vaga is the best written character and seems to, while cheesey, be taken with SOME level of consideration, but even then it always go back to obvious character cliché. Most damnateing is simply the movie is boring in every aspect.
Paragon Lost though IS the best of the cheap EA animated movies and for two solid reasons. Vaga and the ending. Vaga’s character while not well acted does go through a strong character arch dealing with simply everything around him falling more and more apart, each time somewhat do to his attempts to fix the earlier problem. The concept goes a few places that with more creative license and far better hands might have gone to some of the same places as Spec ops: the Line did, but it never gets close enough to be more then conceptual. The ending factors into this greatly as it ends with Vaga being screwing up so badly and forcing himself to make one final choice. The reason this ending stands out is Vaga makes the opposite choice of the most obvious and feel good. It’s the real military choice that requires a cold pragmatic heart despite being the right answer and isn’t the one that will sit well with the audience or be the easy answer. More than that, paragon lost shows just enough of Vaga dealing with the mental consequence of his choice, making it have more last effect and forcing the viewer to acknowledge it. It’s poorly acted, but on a conceptual level it’s far more narratively bold then a quick cash-in movie has any right to be.
Paragon Lost manages, with its interesting end and actually decent protagonist, to be king of the shitty EA anime movies. Artistically boring, character-wise cliché, and a narrative only saved in the last ten minutes. These factors should make it obvious why I give Paragon Lost a VERY generous 3 G.I.Joe lasers out of 5. Later Vice, and this time Pyro_Blue I win.