Film Review: Trigun: Badlands Rumble
"You made a disgrace of my robbery" - bad guy Gasbad's catch phrase
Trigun: Badlands Rumble is a fun, entertaining, action thriller that makes the perfect complement to the Trigun series. It manages to have enough depth to be interesting, and enough action to be entertaining. For a movie that wastes more bullets than a typical Tarantino flick, it has a lot more heart and character building than your typical shoot-em-up movie. And, if you're not sure if you want to watch the Trigun series, I think this movie is a good starting point, but it's also great for fans of the original series.
Legendary outlaw Vash the Stampede is actually a donut-crazed goofball, as fans of the show will know. Again he's trailed by insurance ladies Meryl and Millie. While hunting down a bank robber named Gasback, he meets a fiery pistol named Amelia, who seems to be after Gasback too. The catch? Vash's old pal Nicholas D. Wolfwood is working as Gasback's body guard. Whoa!
When there's a shootout, Vash saves Gasback and it's revealed that he also saved this bastard 20 years ago. Vash's relentless personal dedication to saving lives, when it comes to saving a hardened criminal like Gasback, has just been destroying lives.
"All your fancy words, all your ideals, they're all over the second you die!"
Like the rest of the series, Trigun: Badlands Rumble deals with the following themes:
- Struggle over resources: Gasback escapes and steals a town's power plant. He says all life is just a struggle for resources, and that the rich bankers don't deserve what they have any more than the robbers do. Might makes right?
- Not so different: In this one, bounty hunter Amelia wonders if she's no different from the man she's chasing, Gasback. Not so different from when Vash struggled against his brother Knives in the show.
- Dealing with past mistakes and tragedies: Amelia and Vash both have to deal with this.
While it tries to be philosophical at times, it doesn't have the time the show had to explore the themes about life and death more thoroughly developed in the show. That leaves this as just an action movie, but it's good action, as good as anything you'll see from Hollywood. Gunsmoke is a planet of gun and fist fights, no doubt. But Amelia adds some depth and heart to the story of this movie, as the plot forces her to confront death, herself, and her past. This is a good movie, and I'd recommend it especially to fans of old westerns and crime movies.
This was a good Trigun movie, and I think it would be a hit equally with fans and those who haven't discovered the series yet. It hits the marks philosophically of the show, but it doesn't slow down the excitement too much by dwelling on things for too long. It's thrilling and interesting, with the same captivating characters of the show, plus a few cool newcomers. Trigun: Badlands Rumble is one rare anime movie in that it doesn't have to reanimate or retell it's own story to make a movie that I think non-fans will understand anyway. My favorite thing is that it keeps alive the original themes and messages of the show, but it is an all-new story.