Cowboy Bebop, The Movie (part 2)

(Please read previous post)

Vincent as a villain isn't so much a variation on Vicious (Spike's arch-enemy) as he is a variation on Spike himself. Like Spike, he's died once before; like Spike, he's not sure if his previous life is the reality, or this one (it's a restatement of a theme that runs through the entire series).  Vicious is Spike's personal demon; Vincent is more like a mirror image--Spike, but grown malevolent in his nihilism and with deadlier toys to play with. When Spike tells him he should have realized this life is all he has, it's ironic, because Spike needs this advice as much as if not more than Vincent. He's telling his mirror image, but not listening himself.


Or maybe he's gradually arriving at this conclusion with himself? The movie, if I recall, comes pretty late in the series, chronologically speaking. That may be why he's able to realize it. 


I like an animated feature that can do something this subtle and sophisticated. I like an animated feature that, despite the sophistication, has the sense of fun to have a mysterious Muslim contact lean against a handrail to speak ominous words to Spike, then slide down said handrail like a schoolboy. I like an animated feature with the audacity to set the climactic battle (wonderfully shot and edited, better than any of the close-combat sequences in LOTR) inside the Eiffel tower--in my opinion one of the most beautiful modern structures in the world--with fireworks blowing up around, and make it work. I like an animated feature with the perversity to have a deadly substance, capable of killing millions, encapsulated in something as innocuous as a glass marble, and to have the loveliest image in the film--a flock of glowing gold butterfulies--mean your brain's been breached and you are about to die (while their disappearance means you're going to live).  Coolest movie of the year, no question about it.

No comments: