Summer Wars (2009)

Genre: Sci-Fi, Animation, Drama

Cast: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Nanami Sakuraba, Mitsuki Tanimura

Synopsis: A high school math genius is invited to a hot girl’s family reunion and must pretend to be her fiancé…also someone/something is dicking around with the internets and threatening to bring the whole world to a standstill.

“WELCOME TO THE MOTHER-FUCKING INTERNET!” That’s what this movie screams at you as it throws you full force into the wonderful world of OZ. No, I don’t mean the one with flying monkeys and a woman who changes heads (nightmares for life!). I mean the virtual world were people from all over the world come to do stuff like shop, pay bills, and chat through personalized avatars…so kind of like the internet or a more extreme version of reddit. Summer Wars manages to do something that I never thought would be possible: it solidifies the internet and turns it into a believable arena. In a lot of ways, it’s quite similar to Digimon, which makes sense considering that the director, Mamoru Hosoda, also directed Digimon: The Movie. What sets Summer Wars apart though is its maturity. Whereas Digimon was obviously intended for younger viewers, Summer Wars successfully meshes the fantastical with real life dramatics.

The human story behind the film is very touching. It focuses on math genius, Kenji, who is asked to accompany a girl to her family reunion. When he meets the family matriarch, a bad-ass octogenarian who will cut you if fuck with her, he discovers that he was only invited so he could pose as the girl’s fiancé. During his time with the family, he is falsely implicated in the hacking of OZ by some kind of artificial intelligence. The family must band together to beat this online threat whilst remembering what makes the familial bond so special. That may sound kind of sickly sweet but it’s pulled off remarkably well by presenting characters that are both likeable and realistic.

There’s a lot for the sci-fi/culture stoner to enjoy in this movie. Summer Wars features brilliantly choreographed fight scenes, delicious-looking Japanese food (I got the munchies real bad), and trippy Sailor Moon transformations. Anyone who has a love of Japanese culture should definitely give this film a go.

I think the thing that makes this film so good is that it examines the nature of the internet by juxtaposing it with a traditional (and totally minted) Japanese family. Through a comparison of the old and traditional with the new and technical, the film emphasizes the communal nature of the internet and how it functions as one huge conversation where people from across the world can meet and support one another. In a way, it’s like a global extension of the family unit…and it’s protected by magical pink and blue whales. It’s an interesting perspective and one I personally adhere to. Although I don’t have as much internet worth as a lot of bloggers out there, or even that sneezing panda, I really appreciate those of you who like my posts and comment on them. It makes me feel part of movie loving internet family and that’s pretty neat.

High-lights:

  • Wonderful animation that brings to life an incomprehensible world.
  • Successful mesh of human drama and epic sci-fi awesomeness.
  • KOI! KOI! KOI! KOI! I DON’T KNOW WHY I AM SHOUTING KOI BUT IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I’M A PART OF SOMETHING!!! LET ME GIVE YOU MY REDDIT KARMA!
  • Mars power make-up!!!! I fucking love that sailor moon shit.

Downers:

  • Have snacks on standby because that food looked amazing.
  • Internet paranoia.

Summary:

Summer Wars is a unique film that brings together all the sorts of things that I love. However, I don’t think this is the sort of movie that everyone will enjoy and it’s one that’s not immediately accessible to those who aren’t internet nuts. Redditors will love it and so will bloggers I think. Stoners will definitely like the movie also so if you come into any of those groups then be sure to check this movie out.

9/10

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2 Comments

Filed under Animation, Drama, Great, Sci-Fi

2 responses to “Summer Wars (2009)

  1. Pingback: Wolf Children (2012) | bakedmoviereviews

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