Armitage III Poly-Matrix: The Movie
Armitage III: Poly-Matrix is basically the same as the original Armitage III series, but condensed into a movie format. A lot of footage was cut out, while a few new scenes were added.
I'm not going to go into any details involving the plot and characters, since those are unchanged from the original series. Read my review of the Armitage III OAV series for details on those subjects.
The biggest sell of this movie is that Hollywood actors were hired for the main characters. Elizabeth Berkley stars as Naomi Armitage and Keifer Sutherland plays the role of Ross Sylibus. In hindsight though, I don't think this was that great an idea. There were occasional moments when I got Saved By the Bell flashbacks when Armitage was speaking. Berkley tended to be rather inconsistent, sounding good in some situations, but "fake" in others. Keifer Sutherland had similar problems. On the whole, I'd say the voice acting was pretty much on par with the original series. It was passable, but not noteworthy.
There were many noticeable omissions in this movie. All of Ross's solo investigation scenes were axed, as well as my favorite scene involving Armitage beating the tar out of a couple street thugs. Also gone was the cyberspace bit, the bombing subplot from episode two, and a few other minor things here and there. The final ending following the big conflict was cut and replaced with a much shorter one. All the cuts didn't affect the overall story, and it actually tightened things up and made it clearer to follow. However, I happened to like Ross's solo scenes and the Armitage street thug scene, so I was a bit disappointed that those were omitted.
If you've seen the original series, then there's really no point in watching this movie. The minor amount of new footage certainly doesn't justify it. On the other hand, if you've been wanting to watch Armitage III, then this movie is a bargain since it crams all four episodes of the original onto one convenient video.
The Verdict: * * * (average)
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