Cowboy Bebop (2021) review

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by CT Phipps, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016


    Cowboy Bepop was one of my all-time favorite anime when I was in college. It was 1998 and I was a huge otaku with a love for anything shown on television or available to buy on VHS. It was unlike anything else I'd ever seen (Firefly wasn't out until 2002 and The Expanse wouldn't be out until 2015). It was a beautiful well-realized science fiction world taking place in the solar system in the near-future that managed to combine the used future of Star Wars, jazz, Westerns, martial arts, and Hong Kong action movies.

    The premise was two bounty hunters ("cowboys") named Spike Spiegel and Jet Black are trying to make their fortunes by bringing in high paying rewards for criminals. Unfortunately, to the point of comedy, they often end up killing their quarries instead. The two of them live together on a starship called the Bebop and gradually accumulate an oddball family with con woman Faye Valentine, data dog Ein, and master hacker Ed. Along the way, Spike's past as a former assassin for the Red Dragon Syndicate comes to haunt him.


    The live action version was something that I was interested in from the moment it was announced but wasn't sure how it would go. While a fan of John Cho (Spike), Mustafa Shakir (Jet), and Daniella Pineda (Faye), I had to remember Netflix's adaptation of Death Note. That was flat out terrible and I didn't want to experience the same level of corruption. Still, I liked the trailer for the show and didn't bother paying attention to any other build-up before deciding to binge the series when it came out. What's my opinion?

    Eh, it has its ups and downs. John Cho is excellent as Spike Spiegel but doesn't quite have the physicality for the role. Mind you, you can animate the world's greatest martial artist while getting someone able to pull it off in live action is a lot harder. Mustafa Shakir plays an older crustier Jet with a daughter rather than simply an ex-girlfriend. It was a change that was silly in places (one plot with a coveted doll falls flat) but I overall felt he was a great interpretation.



    Faye Valentine is easily the best version, though, and I think Daniella Pineda perfectly embodied the character after an initial false start with her as a tough girl cowboy herself. Faye isn't a cowboy, she's a con woman. There's a big difference. Some fans may also be put off by the decision to make her bisexual in this adaptation but I didn't have a problem with it. As for Ein? Well, whenever Ein is not on screen, I was asking, "Where's Ein?" He should have been in every shot and that's all I am going to say on the subject.

    There's some odd choices that I didn't quite agree with. The Red Dragon Syndicate is just made into the Syndicate and populated with primarily non-Asian actors. The problem was they keep most of the Triad motifs that make them come off as white guys who like to cosplay as Yellow Peril villains. Still, it had John Noble show up as one of the Elders and it's hard to argue with him in anything. I also think changing the conman who conned Faye by pretending to be her husband into a woman pretending to be her mother was an overall good one.



    The only part of the show that repeatedly falls flat and is just plain bad is the interpretation of Vicious (Alex Hassel) and Julia (Elena Satine). Vicious in the anime is like Sephiroth, a kind of pathetic individual who covers it up by being the most badass terrifying man who ever lived. Vicious in the live action show is more like Viserys, a guy who acts tough but is painfully obvious as a weak-minded fool. I don't dislike the interpretation of Julia in the show, she was always someone we knew Spike loved but never why, but something about her interpretation just felt inconsistent.

    The show is ridiculously colorful and entertaining with much of the anime's weird setting intact. Unfortunately, it may have gone for too faithful in its attempts to bring it to screen so that it, at times, feels like a live action cartoon. Dialing down the weirdness and grit that you can get away in an anime might have made the show land better. Ironically, they also dialed up the sleaze factor so our heroes are always in brothels or strip clubs. But Netflix gonna Netflix. Also, Ein whenever Ein isn't on screen, the other characters should be asking, "Where's Ein?" Oh and he should be angrier, grimmer, and have a time machine.

    7/10
     
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  2. Aurelius Of Phoenix

    Aurelius Of Phoenix Psued.

    Mar 9, 2018
    I didn't care for it, are you going to check out Wheel of Time? I read the books but the show seems like shit to me.

     
  3. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    It's bad, simply put. I am not even the biggest Bebop stan but this show was a complete embarrassment. Specially in this timke and age when TV Shows can look like Squid Game, American Gods and th Boys. Everything in this felt like everyone involved was doing it as half assedly as they could muster. Dialogue is fucking terrible, like out of a Chuck Lorre sitcom terrible, like fucking porn dialogue it's awful.

    Even the editing is half assed, while the stage design is good everything is shot and acted in such a poor way, and scenes are strung together in a very amateurish way. My "favorite" instance is when Vicious does the stereotypical anime thing where the swordman quickly kills someone and the camera focuses on the blood splatter to be stylish.... but the way the sequence is just ridiculpus, not helped by the dead guy's fake looking pedostache.

    They made Jet black and this was followed by him being givn elements where he engages in tomfoolery type behavior, which is just.... let's borrow a word, problematic in implications. Why couldn't he be black and simply be the same Jet?

    Faye is just terrible, she is writen like the most hacky way you can write a "strong female character"... in the 90s and played completely straight.

    The characters are basically psychopaths that #QUIRKILY joke about all the people they are killing. The Bebop Crew wasn't like that at all, how come they made them never shut the fuck up and we ended up with more shallow characters?

    Vicious is embarrassing, both in looks and characterization and whenever Julia appeared with Spike it looked more like a father and daugther because the guy they got for Spike doesn't look 27 at all and his clunky physical acting doesn't help clearing up the image of looking at a middle aged guy in a cosplay.

    Their attempts at making this seem "more mature" and "edgier" feels like what a 13 year old who wears an ahegao hoodie and has never touched a boob in their life would write on their Fanfic they wrote with one hand, like Faye and another girl's "seduction" dialogue is about how big Faye's gun is.... but they are both women do lesbians flirt by making phallic inuendos? Is Faye trans?

    The Ed scene.... terrible, a perfect close for a terrible idea of a series.


    It trended #1 for a weekend so Season 2 is probably already in development. I am glad we don't get any new good shit and instead we simply get terrible remakes of things that should've inspired creators to make their own stuff. Tune in next for the live action remake of Mindgames.

    No idea how you can say it went too faithful as being the reason is cartoonish, when the original anime in fact wasn't like this at all, favoring mood, muted colors and minimalist dialogue to set up a scene, not terrible actors flailing around and having a scene where Jet "hilariously" gets confused about what a bidet is for and he need Spike to explain to him that is to clean his asshole, followed by Faye HILARIOUSLY taking a sip of water and going "PUAGH what is this? Water? Give me beer much better!" this isn't faithful to Bebop, this is writen like Two Broke girls but no Kat Dennings anywhere....

    4/10
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  4. ropetight

    ropetight First time out of the vault

    22
    Feb 7, 2020
    Don't waste your time with Wheel of Time.
    It is cheap fantasy-by-the-numbers for the "young adults" and forced diversity.
    Much worse than i.e. Witcher, much closer to ill fated D'n'D big screen adaptations.
    I expected it will not do justice to the Jordan's books, but at least I expected some kind of competence.

    Bebop is next on my watchlist - my expectations are even lower: if they don't bore me completely, they haven't failed.
     
  5. ironmask

    ironmask A Smooth-Skin

    609
    Mar 10, 2018
    I really don't get the obsession people have with making live action adaptations of animated works. The original was already a great show. Go watch that instead of wasting time watching this crap.
     
  6. Norzan

    Norzan Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 7, 2017
    Because a lot of the business is creatively bankrupt. Why make new stuff when you can just remake stuff that has no point in being remade and bank off of nostalgia? It's disgusting.
     
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  7. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Hey guys, we are getting a reboot of the 90's Xmen cartoon, don't you love that Disney owns the Xmen now? Instead of getting a new show like we used to do before now we get more rehashes of the old shit! Whooohooo!
     
  8. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Wheel of Time was always diverse. Robert Jordan always had it be a bunch of brown, white, and other kinds of people. The Roman slaving Empire is a bunch of black people.

    It's a weird place to complain.
     
  9. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    "Forced diversity" at this point is a meme at the expense of whoever says it lmao.
     
  10. Morgan_

    Morgan_ The Fool

    Jul 3, 2020
    I’d like some forced diversity of new stories.

    I guess the only thing I can really add to this is I thought the directing was pretty poor. Scenes were choppy when they could have just made a shot that showed more than one actor at a time. Didn’t have good flow when transition shots.

    Sets and costumes seemed cheap too.
     
  11. Hoarse D. Wormer

    Hoarse D. Wormer ᛉᛦBurnt Toastᛦᛉ

    Sep 21, 2021
    I'm glad that they didn't steer far from the original story, and that the original story is timelessly magnificent.



     
  12. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Boom Boom Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    I want a live action ninja turtles like the 90's version. I want a movie about the shark dudes. I want a movie about Popeye. Oh they did that already decades ago. It can be done good. Just skip gey anime shit.
     
  13. Aurelius Of Phoenix

    Aurelius Of Phoenix Psued.

    Mar 9, 2018
    It was a diverse world but nations and their people were pretty distinct, the two rivers were people cut off from outsiders for generations, and Rand was supposed to be unique because he was so different than how everyone else looked.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  14. Morgan_

    Morgan_ The Fool

    Jul 3, 2020
    American Rome movies should be made up of only Tri-state area Guidos.
     
  15. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Are the "Forced diversity" kids gonna throw a fit over the 90's stuff they are now rehashing? Multi etnic casts were all the rage since then, some even had at least one person on a wheelchair as well.
     
  16. Hoarse D. Wormer

    Hoarse D. Wormer ᛉᛦBurnt Toastᛦᛉ

    Sep 21, 2021
    Kyles cousin kyle cannot be seen as anything but a victim or the facade wears off.
     
  17. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I mean it was probably one of the most diverse animes of all time with trans, gay, straight, black, white, Asian, and mixed people throughout.

    Because it's the fucking future in space.
     
  18. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    It's funny because Spike is Jewish and made him a Korean middle aged man, and Faye is from Singapore, so actually asian and they made her a white girl, Ed is dark skinned and they casted a white person and then they took Jet made him black but decided that it was necessary for some reason to make him much much less intelligent.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  19. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Technically they made her latina.

    And Jet is extremely intelligent, barring that stupid doll subplot.
     
  20. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Barring him not knowing what a bidet is, needing to have interrogating for information explained to him despite being a cop, buying the wrong ship part due to stubborness, making up Spike's backstory and then get over emotionally angry about Spike lying to him about said thing he made up, the constant jokes whose only punchline is because he is a big black dude now (You are black and you are male!). He is basically a Family Guy black character. Then again everyone in this show is like a Chuck Lorre Sitcom sitcom character.

    Also "Latino" simply signifies the place one lives, plenty latinos are white, black, mixed, various indigenous ethnicities and in peru there are even a huge amount of asian latinos.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1