I am a big fan of dystopian future movies. I try to watch pretty much every one that I can find. Some are good and some fall flat on their faces and some, like Metropia, sit lukewarm in the middle and offer little in the way of either satisfaction or disappointment. This Swedish film (done in English) uses an interesting technique for its animation that takes real photos and alters them to be stylized and thus creates a feel to the film that matches its theme. In Metropia, this almost works, but you’re left wondering why everyone has such a ridiculously large head.
In addition to the distracting animation, the plot runs pretty thin. There are some fun dystopian elements, such as the voices in the main character’s head, but these never quite go anywhere exciting. The voice acting is somewhat uninspired and made worse by the limited expressiveness of the animated characters. This could have leeched the excitement out of the film without me knowing it, though I’m unwilling to go back and watch the movie again just to find out.
The best thing about the movie is all the small elements of atmosphere. There are some very good ideas floating around, but it feels like they never make full use of them. One cause of this seems to stem from the focused theme of the movie that is rarely allowed to go off track and take a look around at the rest of the dystopian world. Essentially, what is happening in the plot overrides all the cool stuff that could be happening in the plot.
Visually, aside from the characters it’s very pretty. The world is complete and intriguing. Unfortunately, I never quite care what’s happening to any of the characters and can never get on board with any of the suspense that the producers try to create. It is mediocre to the core, the good helping to prop up the bad.
I was very bummed out about this one, because there is such promise from the beginning. If they could have brought up the tension levels and given more life to the characters, it might have been pretty amazing. As it stands, however, it’s worth a watch for fans of the genre but would probably bore most others enough to make them jump over to a different film.