Brothers to the End

After attending the US Theatrical Premiere of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, I walked out of the theater more pleased after watching a movie than I had felt in a long time.

When a mysterious prisoner breaks out of prison in Central City using alchemy, it’s up to the Elric brothers to track him down! But this prisoner holds many more secrets than just his electric and ice based alchemy abilities. As the Elric brothers chase him down to Table City in the southwestern country of Creta, Alphonse rescues a young girl being hunted by the escaped prisoner and in the process accidentally pulls Ed and himself into a grassroots rebellion where a small valley of downtrodden people are trying to rise up against the two countries surrounding them and holding them back from retaking what they believe to be their holy land and birthright! But just how far will they go for freedom when a Philosopher’s Stone enters into the mix?

From the moment the movie starts to its final climactic battle, you can’t help but be sucked back into the wonderful and intriguing world of Fullmetal Alchemist as you root once again for the Elric brothers in this brand new original adventure. Keeping true for the most part to the tone of the original series in terms of humor striking a fine balance with the action and drama of the series’ more serious moments, this movie is a microcosm of the greatness of this franchise.

Now, clearly the movie is more geared towards the hardcore fans of the franchise, but what I think made it even greater is that even as a casual fan I was able to enjoy the development of the new characters the movie introduced while still giving me a beginning, middle, and end that left me entirely satisfied when all was said and done. And because you can go into the theater with a very loose knowledge of the Elric brothers and the world they live in and still come out smiling I think is a major testament to the quality of film this is.

The only thing that might make some people a bit uneasy is the killing in the film. Not to say there wasn’t drama like that in the cartoon series, but the wholesale slaughter and unnecessarily gruesome and graphic deaths of some characters may rub fans new and old alike the wrong way if not prepared for it as it happens a lot over the course of the one hour 50 minute running time of the movie.

Still, with amazing animation from BONES studio as always, the return of all the original voices from the cartoon series, and a plot worthy of a summer blockbuster, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos is a must-see for casual and hardcore fans of the anime alike and hopefully you live near one of the 100 or so theaters that plans to carry it during its limited release.

SCORE: 8.5