It's the year UC 0223. With the Earth Federation collapsed, a new govenment has risen: The Congress of Settlement Nations (CONSENT). This new government tries to cover up the discovery of a new enzyme that could change humankind by feeding millions of who are starving to death. However, a rebel group led by Mark Curran tries to prevent this from happening. Their only hope is their new secret weapon: The G-Saviour.
Directed by: Graeme Campbell
. Starring: Brennan Elliott
, Enuka Okuma
, David Lovgren
, Blu Mankuma
, Catarina Conti
, Kenneth Welsh
, Brendan Beiser
, Marlowe Dawn
, Taayla Markell
, Alfonso Quijada
, Peter Williams
, Hrothgar Mathews
, Fred Henderson
. Music by: John Debney
, Louis Febre
A month ago, I found G-Savior DVD in the "2nd hand" product bin at my local video store. It was really cheap so despite having read so many angry fan ravings about how terrible G-savior was, I bought it, watched it, and was pleasantly surprised by it.
After seeing so many angry fan ravings about how terrible this attempt at a live action Gundam movie was, I decided to check it out myself out of curiosity, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. G-Savior is not the most impressive looking live action adaptation but it is definitely not "crap" or "an obscenity". Among direct-to-DVD movies, G-Savior is possibly the best of the bunch. Though it pales in comparison with big screen blockbuster movies, such a thing is expected seeing as G-Savior's budget was only slightly less than 9 million dollars.
The story starts of with a great premise. The year is Universal Century 223 and the various Space Colonies have proudly let go of their colonial past and now consider themselves independent "Settlements". The ruling government of earth known as CONSENT once again seeks to bring the outlying colonies under its control and does so by creating a food shortage in the colonies. In that way, the colonies now depend on CONSENT for food hence giving the earth total economic control over the space settlements. Enter Ex-CONSENT mobile suit pilot Mark Curran who, while peacefully working as a mobile suit operator for an underwater research facility, is swept up into the war when "terrorists" attack the facility and steal a top secret research project that may be able to solve the food crisis and break the earth's economic stranglehold on the colonies. In a crisis of conscience, Mark makes the decision to help the colonies, much to the displeasure of his former CONSENT commander Jack Halle, who has been tasked with eliminating this rebel faction. Shocking twists reveal a hidden conspiracy as Mark Curran must once again take up arms against a powerful enemy despite his past traumatic experience in space combat.
For a low budget direct-to-DVD movie, G-savior actually looks very good when compared to other 19992000 movies, but pales very much in comparison to other giant robot movies such as Transformers or Matrix, especially in the special effects department.The computer generated graphics used for space vessels, the various mechs, the G-savior tend to clash in the most obvious ways with the live action footage thanks to some off key lighting and the unrealistically blocky designs. It felt like watching two different shows; a scifi TV drama inter-cut with footage from video game cut-scenes. At least they tried to make the mobile suits move realistically as opposed to lightning fast movements of the mecha in the anime.
One would normally forgive a movie's sub-par graphics and special effects in view of its low budget, but this movie's acting is really hit or miss. I had no problems with a Caucasian cast (after all, most Gundam characters had western names and facial body features), but only a handful of them manage to deliver good performances. Aside from the main characters like Mark Curran, Cynthia Graves and Jack Halle, the rest of the actors sound about as good as characters in a bad Saturday morning cartoon.
The greatest crime of this movie is the action, or rather, lack of action. Almost an hour passes before the viewer gets his first dose of Mobile Suit mecha combat. Before that, the whole show plays out like a pilot episode for some boring TV drama series. Overall, the story is good; the plot was interesting and managed to incorporate a number of political themes, a staple in the Gundam stories. The action scenes are few and far in between, but when they do come they come in hard and fast. The final battle is definitely a well earned payoff for sitting through the horrible pacing in the first hour; Epic in scale and truly a spectacle to behold.
G-savior is not as terrible as so many people claim but it does have its flaws. It has an excellent story with a couple of good plot twists, a well developed main character that really grows on you as the show moves along and some intense action sequences coupled with a grand sweeping film score composed John Debeney(who also composed for The Scorpion King and The Passion of Christ). Too bad the acting was such a mixed bag, the CGI effects were disappointing and the production values were so low.
Gundam fans would no doubt feel let down that this was not the big budget blockbuster that they fantasized a Gundam live action movie would be. I personally enjoyed G-Savior for what it was, not what people expected it to be. It is highly entertaining and one of the best, though low budgeted, direct-to-DVD movies around nowadays.
Review by xamtaro from the Internet Movie Database.