Watch Metropolis

"Welcome to Metropolis"
  • PG-13
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 48 min
  • 7.2  (22,558)
  • 75

Metropolis is a Japanese science fiction animated film that was released in 2001, directed by Rintaro and written by Katsuhiro Otomo, based on the 1949 manga created by Osamu Tezuka, which was itself inspired by the 1927 silent German film of the same name directed by Fritz Lang. This animated version of Metropolis uses the futuristic landscapes and robot themes from the 1927 film, integrating them with a rich, animated aesthetic and a compelling narrative that explores the complex dynamics between robots and humans.

Set in a futuristic city where society is sharply divided between the wealthy elite and the poor masses, Metropolis is a visually spectacular world where humans and robots coexist, though not peacefully. Robots are increasingly fulfilling roles once occupied by humans, which causes significant tension and conflict between the two groups. The intricately realized city of Metropolis is a marvel of animated film, a place where art deco and industrial aesthetics combine to create a backdrop that is at once nostalgic and utterly futuristic.

The film follows Kenichi and his uncle, Shunsaku Ban, who are on the trail of a rogue scientist, Dr. Laughton, suspected of trafficking in human organs. As they navigate the labyrinthine city, they uncover much more than they bargained for—a massive conspiracy that extends to the highest levels of the Metropole’s ruling class. The political intrigue and societal divisions within the city serve as a foundation for the exploration of themes such as discrimination, consciousness, and the meaning of life.

The protagonists stumble upon Tima, a robot girl with the appearance of an innocent young woman, who becomes the core of the story. Voiced by Yuka Imoto, Tima is a new model of robot with advanced features that blur the lines between machine and human. She is central to the power struggle unfolding within Metropolis, as different factions vie for control over the future of both robots and humans.

As the film progresses, Kenichi forms a bond with Tima, providing a personal and emotional dimension to the societal issues at hand. The voice acting, led by Toshio Furukawa and Scott Weinger, adds depth to the already complex characters, bringing to life their inner conflicts and relationships with warmth and nuance.

At its heart, Metropolis is a tale of love and friendship set against the backdrop of a world grappling with change and the fear of the unknown. The growing relationship between Kenichi and Tima is set in contrast to the large-scale events around them, highlighting questions about what it means to be human and the value of individual connections in a society marked by isolation and division.

Rintaro’s direction ensures that the film is a spectacle of animation. The city of Metropolis is rendered in rich detail, with vast, sprawling vistas of the city combining with intimate, cluttered streets that pulse with life. The contrast between the gleaming heights of the ziggurat, a massive skyscraper at the city’s center, and the dingy underbelly where the city's underprivileged scrape by, illustrates the stark divisions within this society.

The animation is a blend of traditional hand-drawn cells and CGI, offering a distinctive look that harkens back to the classic style of anime while also pushing the envelope with computer-generated effects. The attention to detail in the animation is extraordinary, with every frame featuring layers of movement and activity that create a living, breathing metropolis.

The score, composed by Toshiyuki Honda, contributes to the film's emotive and atmospheric tone with a soundtrack that combines jazz elements with classical and electronic music. This eclectic mix enhances the viewing experience, adding another layer of depth to the storytelling.

Metropolis delves into profound philosophical questions while also delivering an engaging story filled with action, drama, and a touch of romance. It poses inquiries about the soul, the ethics of artificial intelligence, and what the future might hold for humans and machines alike. The complexity of a society on the brink of technological transcendence is captured in both the narrative and the visual tapestry of the film.

In conclusion, Metropolis is a thought-provoking and visually stunning film that weaves together the intricacies of human and robotic life within a breathtaking animated world. With its fascinating characters, rich storyline, and thematic depth, the movie offers an engrossing experience for both fans of anime and viewers looking for a cinematic exploration of the future of humanity and technology.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 48 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (22,558)
  • Metascore