Summary [6.5 out of 10]
Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic is an excellent adaptation of the story behind the video game of the same name, but in the grand scheme of anime, feels like an average attempt. For a new IP from EA, putting all the money behind the game and the animated movie is impressive, but judging the movie on it’s own merits as if you had rented it not knowing there was a game about it as well leaves you unimpressed.
- Graham McTavish, the voice actor who does Dante, is excellent. He delivers every line with depth and intensity, especially anger, that sell the hell out of Dante being a warrior in anguish. I really expected this to wear on me, but it had the opposite effect; I ended up thinking Dante was a pretty good badass.
- Boobs: Beatrice has a heck of a time keeping any outfit on completely for a good portion of the movie.
- Gore: The animation studio that set out to make this movie absolutely intended to make it feel like Ninja Scrolls (which was awesome, you should rent it). Ninja Scrolls is a better movie (both in quality of writing and animation) but the gory parts of Ninja Scrolls seems to have influenced Dante’s Inferno which is a welcome addition. People get cut in half, beheaded, faces get cut off and get stabbed in the faces. Overall the kind of “intense battle gore” that you would want from a movie like this. None of it felt forced or unnecessary, it all felt just-about right.
- Story Pacing & Depth: I think the movie literally just retells the video game’s story of Dante traveling through the 7 levels of hell to save Beatrice (I haven’t played it). Given the time allotment for the whole movie this makes the story feel like it’s paced pretty quickly, especially through levels 1-5 which seems to blaze by with Dante entering a level, looking at the boss, and killing the hell out of it before moving on. There isn’t anything wrong with this I suppose, there just wasn’t a lot of depth to the story. You get backstory on Dante which was great, a bit on his dad and Beatrice (maybe 1 or 2 scenes) and then the rest is him pushing through hell. I liked the backstory I saw and if they had made this a 3-part series with better quality animation I think it would have been really easy to get into this content more. I think they have something good here, just the way it was presented in this movie is a bit shallow.
- Animation Quality: While it’s good for a video-game-tie-in, it’s comparable to “average” animes coming out of Japan 10 years ago. It’s not comparable to anything higher-end coming out of Japanese animation studios and some scenes suffer more than others with the best ones looking “fine” and the worst ones looking “bad”. I wouldn’t describe any of the movie as “excellent” or “terrible”, it’s just firmly in the center. Again, given that this is a new IP from EA and a big risk, there shouldn’t be any surprise that they didn’t dump millions into making this but I’m not reviewing this movie based on that. I’m pretending it’s just a movie I picked up at the store.
- Animation Consistency: Every 2 or 3 levels of hell (in the movie) are animated and drawn by different groups. So Dante’s look and the style of animation changes 3 or 4 times throughout the movie. This must have been a sort of collaborative animation effort by multiple groups much like how The Animatrix movie was done. The differences in style aren’t that drastic, but different enough to notice right away. Fortunately none of the styles were “bad”, one was “weaksauce” but the rest all looked decent.
Conclusion [6.5 out of 10]
Overall Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic is an OK animated movie. If you have played the game and enjoyed it, or enjoy the premise of the game, this will be a “definitely rent” movie for you – if you are obsessed with the game or premise, it’s a solid buy. If you aren’t that interested in the game’s material or the premise of the movie and are just looking for a decent anime to watch in general, I don’t think this movie is strong enough to keep your interest. You will find the content too shallow and the animation quality lacking.
As a first effort from EA to backup a new IP with an animated movie this is an impressive effort, but like I mentioned above, I tried to review the movie as a standalone movie and not tied into a bigger effort. I wanted to give readers my impressions from a “I’m just a dude, should I rent or buy this?” perspective. The potential for this content to get built into another movie or set of movies is fairly large though, and if EA does that with future Dante titles I would certainly rent them to check them out.