Reviews: Heavy Metal
A Celebration of Adolescent Imagination
As an alienated teenager, I remember spending hours during high school filling the margins of my notebooks with outrageous pictures of sexy heroines, fire-breathing monsters, horrifying mutants, and post-apocalyptic landscapes. This movie plays out like a visual transcription of all the daydreams I had during that period of my life. Escapism is the name of the game—if you don't want to be there, you won't like it. Heavy Metal is still probably my favorite magazine of all time, if only because it's the one publication that can take you to more places between its covers than National Geographic. Each issue of Heavy Metal is just like this movie—a series of tongue-in-cheek fantasy and science fiction themed comic book stories that are 'adult' in nature and not connected in any meaningful sense. It's an anthology magazine more about showcasing the wonderful art and talents of the contributors than anything else. This movie brilliantly captured the look and feel of the magazine by having a different animation studio work on each episode, thus introducing and appropriate art shift. The old animation style very much adds to the effect. I would never want to see a live-action adaptation of any Heavy Metal story, or an overly-sophisticated CGI movie. The reviews who criticize this movie for having a weak connective story are missing the point. The point of Heavy Metal, of course, was never the story, but a celebration of the imagination and art of its contributors. There is bound to something in here for everyone. In this movie, if you don't like Harry Canyon, Den, or Captain Sternn, you only have to wait a little while before their respective stories are over. As Heavy Metal 2000 proved, a feature-length narrative with a story as thin as any of these would soon wear out its welcome. The Animatrix was about as close as we've come to having a spiritual successor to this wonderful film, and it fell short. And of course we have some adult animation these days, but almost nothing with the visual ambition of this film. This movie is a true gem. There's nothing else quite like it.
I don't know about the two above me but Stoned or Sober this movie is great.
First and foremost what the two above fail to realize, is that the first 5 stories were meant to serve as imterest the viewer to the magazine's based off it. Second they fail to mention Taarna who even the Nostalgia Critic described as one of the most worth watched characters. Nudity aside, her actions speak louder than words, she holds her own against bad guys stronger than her and she never forgets wrongdoings. I mean look what she did to their leader in the end. All and all great music, great animation great movie.
So mediocre its boring
We saw the movie two days ago, and it was really disappointing. There's no plot or anything resembling a story, and while the animations may have been okay for the 80s, they look really bad these days. The airplane segment really wasn't that bad, but its rather slow and uneventful. Which makes it much more exiting and entertaining than the later segments, which are unbelievably slow with really nothing at all happening. Maybe the creators aimed at making a heavy metal music video compilation, but the movie sucks even at that. The music is bland and there don't seem to be more than 5 or 6 songs in all. It wasn't that we were cursing at the movie afterwards for wasting out time, but most of the fun really was from heckling the movie for its dumbness. There are two or three funny but immature jokes, and we got one good laugh when I wondered when the next naked woman would show up in this segment and she appeard 5 seconds later. But that's about it.
Heavy Metal (original)
After hearing all sorts of hype for Heavy Metal over the years, I finally decided to sit down and give it a chance. Needless to say, I wish I hadn't — aside from the music, there's nothing noteworthy about the movie, unless you're a teenager who thinks boobies and drug jokes are funny. The segments vary in quality, but even the best ones ("B-17", "Harry Canyon") are rather forgettable. The choppy animation doesn't help things, either, making most of the segments feel like something Filmation would do after hours. It's not that Heavy Metal is a bad film, but it's primarily an overhyped and forgettable one.