In a future world, young people are increasingly becoming addicted to an illegal (and potentially deadly) battle simulation game called Avalon. When Ash, a star player, hears of rumors that...
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In 2054, Paris is a labyrinth where all movement is monitored and recorded. Casting a shadow over everything is the city's largest company, Avalon, which insinuates itself into every aspect of contemporary life to sell its primary export, youth and beauty. In this world of stark contrasts and rigid laws, the populace is kept in line and accounted for.
In the year 2032, Batô, a cyborg detective for the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9, investigates the case of a female robot--one created solely for sexual pleasure--who slaughtered her owner.
In a future world, young people are increasingly becoming addicted to an illegal (and potentially deadly) battle simulation game called Avalon. When Ash, a star player, hears of rumors that a more advanced level of the game exists somewhere, she gives up her loner ways and joins a gang of explorers. Even if she finds the gateway to the next level, will she ever be able to come back to reality? Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
All military vehicles and helicopters were borrowed from the Polish army for free. See more »
When Ash is holding Murphy after shooting him, he is holding a gun in his right hand. The shot then switches to his other hand dropping bullets and when the shot returns to both of them the gun is missing. See more »
Just as I thought, you are the only one who got through the gate.
Is this "Special A"?
We call it "Class Real". Building it has taken huge amounts of very sophisticated data. In many ways, it's still very experimental.
In many ways?
There's just one thing you have to do to complete it. That's finishing off the Unreturned. Your equipment and skill parameters are returned to default. All you have is a pistol and one clip of ammunition. There are neutral characters operating under free will. Hurt ...
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Avalon can be seen as part of a trilogy, the first installment of which would be Ghost in the Shell, the last, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence. Avalon contains many direct references to Ghost in the Shell, and shares a lot of its motif of philosophical search for the self. They also share the cyberpunk imagery, and the fact that the main heroine is an impassive female warrior. I mention all this because I think it's inadvisable to watch Avalon if you haven't watched Ghost in the Shell (and pondered on it a bit). Avalon can be extremely heavy at times. This movie does not make you think; watching Avalon is like trying to decipher a zen poem, which I think can be done, but not through intellectual decoding.
In Avalon, a lone hunter in a virtual reality game shares her life with a basset dog, and all her activities seem to be centered around getting better in the illegal, dangerous game and getting food the dog with the money she earns there. The game is illegal because you can die playing it; "really" die in the concrete, bleak urban world that Ash, the main hero, lives every day. However, apart from the possibility of virtual death, the game offers a secret - the highest level, Avalon. The legendary Avalon is the "Isle of the Blessed", where King Arthur lies in eternal sleep. In the movie, it is a mystery, which haunts Ash ever since the deaths of her last player team.
The search for Avalon is depicted in the most beautiful cinematography. The plot is very symbolic and should be considered so; the search for the gate to Avalon can mean many things, and the nature of the quest changes as Ash is getting closer. However, like Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, the movie is heavy and long, and the characters engage in philosophical discussion every time they can. With all its beautiful cinematography, interesting acting (very automaton-like, but intentionally so), and a set of intriguing philosophical questions, this movie suffers from heavy-handed imagery and symbols, sometimes. Hard science fiction pushes the science as far as possible; Avalon is an example of hard cyberpunk, where the confines of the conceptual world dreamed up by the director are explored fully and unremittingly.
If you are ready to take a film not as only entertainment, but also a challenge to your thinking power, Avalon, like all Oshii's movies, is a thrill. However, beautiful, intellectually rewarding science fiction does not have to be longish and heavy, as Avalon is at times. Watch Ghost in the Shell before it, watch Ghost in the Shell: Innocence after it, and approach this movie at your most relaxed, for it to be a rewarding rewarding experience; it can wear you down, otherwise.
One more thing: if you're Polish, watch the Japanese dub with English subtitles. The Polish lines were translated literally from the Japanese, and they are very often almost gibberish (and the Japanese voice-acting is better, too). Also, do not let the fact that the movie's virtual world seems to be set in your local K-mart detract from your watching experience.
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