Space Pirate Captain Harlock

Space Pirate Captain Harlock

MOVIE DATE STARRING: Shun Oguri, Miyuki Sawashiro, Yu Aoi, Haruma Miura, Toshiyuki Morikawa

DIRECTOR: Shinji Aramaki THE SKINNY: Following a devastating inter-stellar war, Captain Harlock (Oguri) sets off in his dark-matter pirate ship on a mission to reset the timeline of the universe.

His crew mates include a sexy green alien babe (Aoi) and a sexy blonde babe (Sawashiro).

There's also the idealistic young Yama (Miura), a spy who infiltrates Harlock's crew to sabotage the mission. RATING: PG13


Being a space pirate is about the coolest thing that is humanly possible to be.

An undersea cowboy? Inter-dimensional gladiator? Time-travelling ninja?

All cool. Just not as cool as a space pirate.

This is but the latest iteration of a Japanese franchise that's been going strong for nearly four decades, and the thing that's made it so enduring is the intrinsic kick-butt-ness of the main character.

The hair. The scar. The eye patch. The high collar. The cape. The gun sword. The scull-and-crossbones emblazoned across his chest.

What guy does the 12-year-old me want to be? This guy.

His appearance hasn't changed much since the 1970s because the design is perfect, like a Porsche 911.

Only a fool would mess with it.

This movie is completely incomprehensible upon first viewing, but so what?

There are so many stunning sights to see - Harlock's ship, his babes, his battles - that you can spend the film's duration just staring, drinking it all in.

It's easy to take visual beauty for granted, but it's an achievement in itself.

The Japanese are better at this than anyone else - they're masters of pretty.

This is a grand, romantic adventure that errs on the side of epic portentousness.

You want to see a flick where the fate of the universe hinges on the blooming of a single flower?

This is the one to see. ****

THE CONSENSUS: While you should not expect too much sense from the plot, the visuals make this a spectacle worthy of the biggest blockbusters.

This article was first published on July 16, 2014.
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