'There's no drama in bounty hunting,' one of the Bebop team grumbles, shortly before an exploding tanker wipes out 500 commuters across a 3km stretch of Alba City, Mars, Halloween eve 2071. Suspecting a biological terror attack, the government posts a 300m oolong reward, promptly stirring Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV and Ein from their cash strapped indolence. Their colleague Faye Valentine is already on the case, identifying an officially dead army officer as the man at the centre of the fireball. Meanwhile, Jet uncovers a false-fronted pharmaceutical conglomerate and Spike heads to Moroccan Town to receive a vial of what he's told is 'pure evil personified in a test-tube'. It's drama, but not as Aeschylus would recognise it. The film starts with a bang, but its characterisation comes with a whimper. Newcomers to this cult anime franchise get no introduction, and I can't guess what's here to tickle fans beyond a series of fights, chases and explosions. The character animation is pretty flat and charmless, but there are passing felicities in the watercoloured cityscapes, and in a lovely hallucinated golden butterfly effect.
Cast and crew
Steven Jay Blum