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Film review: Parasyte - Completion, part 2 of sci-fi manga adaptation

While first part of Takashi Yamazaki's film about invasion of body-snatching alien parasites was thrilling, second part is a bit of a drag

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 May, 2015, 10:09pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 May, 2015, 3:35pm

Shota Sometani, Eri Fukatsu, Ai Hashimoto, Tadanobu Asano
Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Category: III (Japanese)

It was thrilling to sit through 2014's Parasyte — the first of visual effects expert Takashi Yamazaki's two-part adaptation of the sci-fi horror manga — which treated the invasion of body-snatching alien parasites (or "parasytes") as both a disturbance to adolescent life and a perverse variation of urban noir tropes.

By part one's end, teenager Shinichi Izumi (Shota Sometani) — together with Migi (voiced by Sadao Abe), the shape-shifting alien stuck in his right arm — has stumbled across enough grotesque murders that his mind is set on hunting down the parasytes, after tragic incidents hit both his mother and his high school.

As the killer alien Goto (Tadanobu Asano) makes an order to "devour the entire human species" and overthrows Ryoko Tamiya (Eri Fukatsu), the mutant mastermind experimenting with both motherhood with a human baby and foods that do not include human flesh, various paradoxes are conjured.

What can these aliens achieve once they take over as politicians? Is there a parallel between a human psychopath and a cannibal alien? Would a single parent kill another child to avenge his own? With their "parasitic" activities on earth, are humans any closer to "greater justice" than the aliens?

All these are thought-provoking questions that this ambitious second film struggles with while the two species are heading to all-out war. By trading story tension for a macro and superficially moral view, Parasyte — Completion pales as pop entertainment and becomes a bit of a drag.

Parasyte — Completion opens on May 7