I’ve been preparing myself for Evangelion 3.0: You can (not) Redo for a year now. I actually ended up buying the whole original TV series which was was released as ADV DVD box sets along with the Death & Rebirth film, the End of Evangelion film, and finally the recent two Rebuild of Evangelion movies 1.0 & 2.0. I watched all of them and see why it’s so highly regarded yet also criticised by some, so I came to this film still new to the franchise. What I got from the third Rebuild film is that it’s a frustrating movie but also an entertaining one.
While the first two Rebuild movies had some similarities to the 90s TV series, the third one breaks away from them to become its own thing.
The movie opens up with a ten minute space battle spectacle with an eye-patched Asuka and Mari attempting to capture an angel that’s entering the earth’s atmosphere. While this ends up being a successful capture, the angel awakens which leads both Eva pilots to kill it, making for a strong introduction and one of the memorable moments of this film.
After this, we then cut to Shinji, who wakes in some kind of pod and finds that he’s in an unfamiliar area with mostly unknown faces. After finally meeting Misato Katsuragi briefly, he’s told that it’s fourteen years after he saved Rei from Eva-00 at the end of Evangelion 2.0 and that he is now on the ship called the AAA Wunder, which is owned by the Wille organization, of which Misato is the leader. This leaves many questions unanswered. What happened to Gendo and Nerv? What happened during these fourteen years? How are they fighting the angels?
The film has a three act structure. The first act leaves a strong impression as mentioned, but it’s soon over. The second act is a lot slower and is also the longest. We also get our proper introduction to a familiar face in Evangelion, the mysterious Kaworu Nagisa who becomes Shinji’s friend and partner throughout this movie; this is also the act where the plot reveals what has happened to the world during the past fourteen years that Shinji has missed.
This is where some of the gripes start to show, mainly in the characters, Shinji in the last movie was a much more bearable character and tolerable to others but in this, it feels as if he’s reverted to his depressing and whiny self. I don’t mind this issue so much but it doesn’t help when characters around him don’t fully explain things to him. When someone gives Shinji an order such as “Don’t do this”, they never really give Shinji an answer on why he shouldn’t do it.
Also there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on in this second act except for some random Shinji and Kaworu piano duets, which I will admit are well done.
The last arc brings back the mecha action for a short time and while it’s not as great as the other Rebuild climaxes, it ends in with an interesting set-up for the final movie.
The production is impressive for the most part, the mecha battles and the piano sequences being some of the highlights, and, as expected, the voice acting is fantastic. I might have spotted a few bad uses of CG but nothing too off-putting.
I may seem negative about the movie but my final comment on Evangelion 3.0: You can (not) Redo is simple: if you’ve watched the other Rebuild movies then I suggest you watch this and form your own opinion when you get the chance. It’s a film that has divided fans but I still found myself engaged and I will look forward to 4.0 in the future.