Well, the U.S. finally got the theatrical release of the Cowboy Bebop flick—but for a limited time only. Made in 2001, the film mirrors many of the events of 2K1 along with lingering images of the Twin Towers and at the core of the story is a biological virus plot with terrorists and other related events. This could be the reason for the long distribution delay. After all, they did cut those scenes from Spider-Man, MIB II and others. This flick does exist on DVD in a subtitled version and Chinese packaging, but this is the first legit English dubbed version to be released in theatres. Most likely they’ll find their way into the dark and obscure art houses. So, you’ll have to look for this one.
As a movie, Cowboy Bebop is truly is a great work of Japanimated story telling. It’s not just bigger sound, but it’s also got a wider scope. For all those familiar with how Cowboy Bebeop’s sessions end, you’ll have to assume that this takes place before certain characters, er… move on would be the best way to put it. The movie surpasses the original series in many ways, but I think you need to understand the characters to catch certain jokes. Nevertheless, Cowboy Bebop is consistent with the show of characters. Faye is still foxy and kicks ass, Jet is still moping around the Bebop, Spike is still apathetic and Edward is still made of out of rubber. (But I will add that this is the first time I actually cared what happened to Spike. It’s the first time that he actually does something for someone else). The crew of the Bebop are still cynical and selfish bounty hunters, but then the plot throws them into a dark and global crusade to save humanity. That’s something they never did before, either, but hey, it seems to work. Another great thing about the flick is the action: it’s brilliant and feels like it could’ve been shot live--it carries the same tension. Go out and catch Cowboy Bebop if you can. It’s true escapist fun.
And for all those parents that have kids, this movie is rated a low-cal R for a little violence and some cartoon boob shots. But if you’ve seen the original sessions, then you shouldn’t be surprised.
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (3 ½ out of Four)
R, 2003, 116 min., Sunrise, Bones and Bandai Entertainment.
Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine, Jet Black, Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, Electra and Vincent Volaju, Music By Yōko Kanno, Produced by Haruyo Kanesaku, Masahiko Minami, Minoru Takanashi, Ryōhei Tsunoda and Masuo Ueda, Written by Marc Handler and Keiko Nobumoto and Directed by Shinichirō Watanabe.
Other Great Japanimated Entertainment Available on DVD and Video:
Cowboy Bebop Boxed Set, Cowboy Bebop: The Very Best Sessions, Phantom Quest Corp., Akira, Devil Hunter Yoko, Robotech, Evangelion, Blue Submarine, Lupin III, Twisted Tales of Tokyo, Dirty Pair, Vampire Hunter D…