Back to IndieWire

‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ Review Roundup: Life Continues to Be Pain for Anime Fans

Live-action adaptations don't have a very good track record.

Fullmetal Alchemist Netflix

If you’re an anime fan, you’re used to being disappointed by live-action adaptations of your favorite stories. Netflix’s new take on “Fullmetal Alchemist” appears to be no different, alas, as reviews of Fumihiko Sori’s adaptation have been mixed at best. If you’re prepared to be let down yet again, read on:

Richard Kuipers of Variety is mixed:

“The film’s greatest weakness is failing to adequately transmit the huge guilt Ed feels for having brought about his younger brother’s fate. This fundamental emotional element doesn’t receive proper attention until the story’s in full stride and then fails to resonate under the weight of uninspired dialogue and unconvincing delivery by Yamada.”

Ditto Kaori Shoji, who reviewed the live-action adaptation for IGN:

“The narrative often suffers from a lack of coherence and sequential breakdown. Perhaps in an effort to contain the sprawl, Sori chose to work with a small cast of a chosen few, but fans will be disappointed to find key characters are missing, including the brothers’ nemesis Scar and their boss, King Bradley.

Fullmetal Alchemist Netflix

Nerdist‘s Scott Begos gives it 2.5 equivalently exchanged burritos, which sounds about right:

“The good news about the live-action ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ movie from Netflix and Warner Bros. is that when it’s silly, it’s fun. The bad news is that when it tries to get serious, it gets silly. There’s a juvenile streak running through the entirety of director Fumihiko Sori’s adaptation that boosts the broad comedy but absolutely batters any moment trying to be deep and sincere.”

More positive is the Excelsior‘s Michael Alford II:

“Overall, condensing two iterations of an anime was done in an astounding manner. For those who liked the anime, and for those have never seen it before, it is definitely a worthy movie to watch. There is something in there for a large audience to enjoy.”

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox