We bring you our review of The Knights of the Zodiac, the live-action film that tries to adapt Masami Kurumada’s manga, but fails to gather enough space for it. And it’s a shame, because it could have been something very cool.
Starting today, May 26, 2023, Los Caballeros del Zodiaco, the first movie of real image focused on the acclaimed manga of Masami Kurumada which is produced by Toei Animation itself, in collaboration with Sony Pictures. Nothing bad can come of this, right?
things clear, Every time we hear of a live action adaptation of a manganime, we inevitably start to tremble.. And is not for less! From the ridiculous Dragon Ball Evolution to Netflix’s infamous Death Note, live action movies based on manga, with very few exceptions, have turned out to be most disastrous.
And, as you may well have guessed from the headline of our review, this adaptation of Saint Seiya is not exempt from this “golden rule” of cinema, unfortunately.
Any resemblance to the manga is purely coincidental.
Directed by Tomasz Bagiński (who is making his directorial debut in a feature film), The plot of The Knights of the Zodiac barely follows the plot of the manga leaving only the most basic: Seiya, the search for his missing sister, his destiny as guardian of Athena as the Knight of Pegasus… And little else.
In this version we have Seiya as a teenager who is dedicated to participating in street fights in exchange for money while looking for information about his sister, who has been kidnapped.
But during one of their fights, something awakens in Seiya and he discovers that he has a mystical power known as cosmos. It is then that he is recruited by Kido to become the Knight of Pegasus and protect Saori, who is the reincarnation of the goddess Athena herself.
These are the best tablets for watching movies and series
If you usually watch series when you travel or in various parts of the house, these tablets can be good companions for entertainment consumption.
However, Athena’s power is such that she can become the goddess of wisdom and protect everyone, or be the goddess of war and destroy everything. This generated a difference of opinion between Kido and his ex-wife Guraad, creating two sides willing to face each other for their respective ideals.
At this point the plot is more similar to the new anime series Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya made by Netflix, since Guraad was a character invented for the occasion and in that version he was an old friend of Kido with whom he fell out. by Saori. The truth is that turning it around and making these enemies have been a couple has not been bad for the plot, things as they are.
Roughly, the film is an outline of what would be the arc of the Phoenix in the original series, but as we have mentioned before, there are hardly any details that indicate that they are adapting that part, because almost everything is invented. Something that will undoubtedly turn back the most staunch fan.
A terrible adaptation that could have been much better
Undoubtedly what makes the film back the most is that it is sold as an adaptation of The Knights of the Zodiac since, if it had been a random action tape, even with its flaws, it wouldn’t have been so bad.
Because the theme of the fights is quite well done in general, especially in the first two thirds of the tape. The choreographies in the combats have a very good rhythm and are engaging making its duration of 112 minutes enjoyable.
Of course, the one who shines the most is its protagonist, played by Mackenyu (who we will soon see embody Zoro in the live-action of One Piece that Netflix is preparing), which shows us that he is quite a mountebank when it comes to engaging in combat.
However, as soon as the armorthe thing becomes a display of CGI rather pulling cutrón that pulls back, leaving aside the cool choreography at the beginning.
That is another, the design of the armor. For the sake of continuing to walk away from the franchise, the movie completely swaps out the armor for a much uglier designwith a helmet that covers the face of the actor.
This is quite funny because, in this type of film, any excuse is always sought to remove the helmet or mask of the hero on duty and show the interpreter’s face (and if not, tell Spider-Man), but in this case the opposite happens, also because the armor barely appears in the film (fortunately).
From a design that originally his “helmet” was a headband that showed the character’s face, here it has been chosen to completely cover his face. This decision is probably due to the fact that the CGI would have been worse in the action sequences if the faces of the actors were shown in those parts. We have no proof, but no doubt either.
Returning to the cast of the film, another actor who stands out a lot in the part of the action is Mark Dacascos (well known for his role in John Wick 3: Parabellum) who, although he doesn’t shine as much as Mackenyu, gives us a couple of the coolest action sequences.
And little else, because the rest of the cast of The Knights of the Zodiac goes quite unnoticedand that having as claims on the billboard two good performers such as Sean Bean and Famke Janssen, who play Kido and Guraad respectively.
Of course, we would have liked Janssen to have played the Knight of the Phoenix in the film (because she has experience after her time as Jean Gray in the X-Men trilogy) instead of the more than forgettable performance that Diego Tinoco has left us. … Little would the fans have cared if they had changed the gender of the character if it is for such a good cause.
If you forget that it is an adaptation of Saint Seiya, The Knights of the Zodiac could pass for a merely entertaining movie, but not enough to see it on the big screen. It is better to wait until it is available on a streaming platform and see if it is worth it without having spent your money. At least we liked it more than Dragon Ball Evolution, stay with that.
Leave a Reply