The eagerly anticipated Evangelion: 1.01 is the first installment in a four-feature retelling of Hideaki Anno''s watershed series Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995). Anno has said he is re-creating Evangelion as he wanted it to be initially, unconstrained by technological and budgetary limits. The first film covers the same material as episodes 1 through 6 of the series: In 2015, 14-year-old Shinji Ikari arrives at the headquarters of Nerve, a scientific organization that represents humanity''s last defense against the Angels, mysterious beings bent on destruction. Assigned to pilot the gigantic cyborg Evangelion Unit 01, Shinji proves a reluctant, neurotic hero, whose problems are rooted in his estrangement from his father. Anno was able to rehire most of the staff from the original series, but the use of computer graphics enables the filmmakers to amp up the visuals. When the army deploys an array of tanks, planes and missiles against the Angel Sachiel, the viewers sees the ranks of ineffectual machines moving into position--and being destroyed by the Angel''s terrible power. Operation Yashima, the climactic battle with the Angel Ramiel, ends the film. In the television series, this Angel was just a blue tetrahedron; in the film it reconfigures itself into a fantastic array of geometric shapes. Shinji''s destruction of the Angel with an experimental "positron cannon" eclipses the earlier version. The entire Japanese voice cast returned for the remake; in the English dub, Alison Keith and Spike Spencer re-create their roles as the exuberant Misato and the angst- ridden Shinji, while Brina Palencia capably takes over as the distant Rei Ayanami. The tighter story-telling and dazzling visuals of Evangelion: 1.01 will win over even skeptics who doubted whether there was any need for yet another version. (Rated PG-13: violence, nudity, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
Stills from Evangelion: 1.01
Tokyo-3 still stands after most of civilization was decimated in the Second Impact. Now the city endures the ceaseless onslaught of the deadly Angels, bizarre creatures bent on eradicating the human race. To combat this strange and ruthless enemy, the government agency NERV constructs a fleet of towering humanoid machines – the Evas – and Shinji Ikari is called into action, reluctantly taking his place at the controls of Eva Unit 01.
Living a life of loneliness and questioning his existence, Shinji struggles to accept responsibility for mankind’s battle for survival in this visually striking rebuild of one of the most important anime of all time. Shinji will fight the Angels alongside the only person who might understand his plight – Rei Ayanami, the elusive and frail pilot of Eva Unit 00. In this film experience not to be missed, Shinji and Rei will struggle to learn a simple truth: when carrying the burden of humanity’s survival on your shoulders, you are not alone.
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