Friday, March 15, 2013

Movies: King of Thorn

In "King of Thorn," a sci-fi anime movie based on the manga of the same name, the world is in the grips of a strange plague called Medusa. In the hope of finding a cure, a drug company offers to put some of the afflicted patients in suspended animation inside a giant castle. When the patients wake up, however, the world they knew is gone...

My friends and I liked this movie. Admittedly, it's a hot mess of clich├ęs: one part claustrophobic survivor story (think "Cube"), one part sci-fi conspiracy thriller, and one part fairy tale ("Sleeping Beauty," of course). There's also a lot of red herrings thrown at the viewer in an attempt to disguise what's going to happen next: in the space of a minute, a character explains that the suspended animation chambers can control your dreams, can clone your DNA, and are able to support themselves for decades without outside power - good luck figuring out whether the next hour and forty minutes are real or not.

What "King of Thorn" lacks in originality, though, it makes up for with competently drawn characters. The initial group of survivors are a motley crew, with clashing personalities and different goals. It's a shame the movie eventually splits them up, but before that happens, "King of Thorn" offers some Grade A escapist fantasy.

Rating: 8/10


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