THE MYSTERIANS (1957)
(a.k.a. CHIKYU BOEIGUN)
Article #1214 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-11-2004
Posting Date: 12-8-2004
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Featuring Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa, Momoko Kochi
Aliens from the lost planet of Mysteroid attempt to invade the Earth.
This space opera moves into the action so quickly that you barely get a chance to meet the main characters. This is perhaps the reason I’ve generally found the movie quite confusing the previous times I watched it; if you lose track of the character played by Akihiko Hirata, some of the later plot developments seem arbitrary. It also doesn’t help that the English script is poorly translated from the Japanese (a star and an asteroid are two entirely different things, for example). Still, if you’re into non-stop eye candy action, you won’t be disappointed by this one, and it even fits in some messages about international cooperation and touches upon the nature of propaganda during the proceedings. For me, the most jarring problem with the movie is that its most striking setpiece is near the beginning of the movie rather than towards the end; the giant space robot is the most memorable thing in the movie, and it’s out of the action after the first thirty minutes. Still, once again, I’m amazed at how some of the characters believe the robot is a living being rather than a robot when it looks more like a robot than anything else.