I’ve seen my fair share of Evangelion in my time, but Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo was an impenetrable orgy of colour and explosions. Sure, I haven’t seen the previous two films in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy that 3.0 finds itself part of, but with my knowledge of the series and having read up on what I’d missed I thought I’d be able to get by – make no mistake, this is a film for die-hard fans only.
Even then however, 3.0 takes a drastic turn from earlier material and takes the series in a brand new direction that will probably leave even the converted scratching their heads. Set 14 years after the ‘Third Impact’, Shinji finds himself awakened in a world that has changed without him. Rei, who he fought so desperately to save, is nowhere to be seen and an organisation called WILLE is attempting to destroy NERV.
More of a bridge movie that will hopefully come together when all is said and done, 3.0 suffers from a massive lack of context – aside from the obvious post-apocalyptic setting and mecha genre. The first half an hour is essentially an extended action sequence, fluidly animated and over the top, but with barely any sense of place; it’s only halfway through the film that some basic questions about what’s going on begin to be answered.
It helped that Shinji was just as lost as I was but there’s no escaping that this is a story directed by the needs of the plot rather than by its characters. Speaking of which, only Shinji gets any real development. This is problematic because it exacerbates the plot-dictated actions of the supporting cast. If characters bothered to explain to each other what’s going on, then most of the film’s conflict would have been resolved in a heartbeat – but then series mastermind Hideaki Anno wouldn’t have had his movie!