Sin: The Movie -

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Mania Grade: C+

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  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: C-
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: �19.99
  • Running time: 58
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sin

Sin: The Movie

By Dani Moure     January 06, 2004
Release Date: February 10, 2003

Sin: The Movie
© ADV Films UK

What They Say
Enter the world of SIN. In the 21st century, the city of Freeport teeters on the verge of collapse. The twin tides of rampant crime and ruinous graft face but a single barrier, an elite strike-force labeled Hardcorps. Led by Colonel John Blade, they have become a fierce fighting force for justice in Freeport.

Blade must now unravel a series of mysterious unexplained kidnappings. An elaborate puzzle unfolds as he delves into the decadence of the city, and at its heart is Elexis Sinclaire. Brilliant biochemist, unscrupulous businesswoman, and merciless vixen, Elexis will stop at nothing to achieve her monstrous goal: to bring about the evolution of mankind!

The Review!
Originating as a videogame and being transitioned to an anime movie by ADV, Sin suffers from trying to cram a little too much into too short a time.

I watched the show with the Japanese language track for my main review, and noticed no dropouts or distortions. In listening to a portion of the English track, I heard no problems. The stereo mixes on this disc both sound good, and the great music used throughout the show comes across extremely well.

The video on this disc is a little disappointing. There's a degree of aliasing throughout the movie, as well as some pixellation during some of the busier scenes. Other than that, the video is clean if a little soft on occasion. Since this was produced by ADV, almost all the on-screen text is in English.

One of the nice aspects about the release is the packaging. The front cover has a great image of Blade holding his gun up in the foreground, with Elexis just behind him looking evil. The logo is the same one used for the game, and stands out quite well and looks nice. The pattern used for the background of the cover fits well. There's also a little text on the cover that gives an idea of the premise: "The sins of the father, have been passed to the child." The back cover contains a quote from a review of the movie, and a decent summary of the show that doesn't give too much away. Extra features are clearly listed, and the back also contains some screenshots and artwork.

The menus are all static, but look quite nice and in tone with the cover and the show itself. The language selection menu lists English, Japanese, or either language with English subtitles listed as "V1" and "V2", though it doesn't explain that one is dubtitles of the English language track and the other is a literal translation of the Japanese track, though it's pretty obvious from the way the selections are listed. Access times are nice and quick.

The extras are very disappointing. Since the disc released here is the same as Madman's Australian release, the only extras present are an all-too-brief gallery of design art, some decent character profiles (which admittedly help flesh out their histories to a degree) and the original trailer for the feature. For whatever reason, the interviews that appeared on the US disc aren't present, which is extremely disappointing.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sin tells the story of John Blade, who is part of an elite strike force called HARDCORPS. He leads a team that comprises of two other members, Kait and John Christopher (called JC for short). As the show opens, we witness JC's funeral, and flash back to a car chase where Blade and his team are after a kidnapper. Tracking it to a sewer, they attempt to rescue a young girl from the monster's clutches. But it merges with JC, and Blade is forced to kill the mutated JC to save his friend.

The show soon shifts to the introduction of JC's sister, Jennifer, who storms into his office to take control of the investigation of the girl they rescued from the monster. She comes from the Universal Army, and has full authority granted by them and HARDCORPS. But she also chastises Blade over killing her brother. She doesn't know exactly what happened, since no cause of death was released, but she's sure that Blade is responsible. She also brings up a Mafia boss, Lorenzo, that Blade met with at JC's funeral, and insinuates that Blade is more in bed with the Mafia than his father. This leads to a flashback showing how Blade's father was killed moments after telling his son that he could trust Lorenzo, having reached an agreement with the Mafia.

It's not long before the true enemy is revealed as SinTEK, a company run by Elexis Sinclaire, who took over after her father went insane. She is involved with Mancini, who was also involved with the death of Blade's father. They have developed a drug which genetically mutates its subject, and Elexis soon experiments on Mancini. But the key to her plan is Elyse, the young girl rescued in the opening. And so it's down to Blade and the new JC, with a little help from Kait, to foil the mad woman's plans.

It's not that Sin is really that bad, it just comes off as little more than "OK" when watching, and the shorter runtime doesn't help. The plot isn't too hard to grasp, but I couldn't help shake the feeling that just a slightly longer runtime would've helped flesh out a few of the details that may have made things that little bit clearer, and that in turn would probably have increased my enjoyment of the movie. It often just seems to jump from scene to scene, without a true transition, so it's almost like the writers wanted certain pieces of exposition and action in there, and dumped them all one after the other without linking them in some appropriate way. At times, it comes off as a little jarring.

Thankfully, the cast of characters is relatively diverse, and they serve the story well. John Blade is an interesting lead. Not exactly big on words at the best of times, he nonetheless carries the action and certainly looks the piece. His history, particularly where his father was involved, helped give him a motive and his passion to bring down SinTEK is believable.

Jennifer also comes off pretty well. Obviously she's torn up about her brother's death, but it's nice how her realisation of what really happened when he was killed came about of her own experiences. Her teaming with Blade works well, especially towards the end where they're off against SinTEK. In fact her character progresses quite well throughout the show, as she develops and grows to quite a high degree for such a short feature.

Elexis, on the other hand, comes off as somewhat one-dimensional, and is little more than the insane, evil woman plotting to take over the world. Which is fine in a way, since that's exactly what she is, but there's little other reason for her doing what she's doing other than following her father's footsteps and being insane. Mancini doesn't have much character either, besides going after Elexis and being involved with Blade's father, so the villains are a little disappointing. Nevertheless, they do suffice for the purposes of the film.

One thing that bugged me about Sin was that the violence at times was a little too gratuitous. I don't have a problem with blood being used when it's for a purpose, as indeed it is here on occasion, but sometimes the red stuff just seems to flow all over the screen for no good reason other than someone feeling the show needed a certain quota of blood and gore in it, which was a little disappointing.

The plot is nothing extraordinary; as I mentioned, the whole movie comes off as something that's just above average. But it's interesting that there are often considerable differences between the two language tracks available. Sin was, of course, produced by ADV Films, and as a result the original screenplay was written in English and the animation is timed to the English script. The Japanese dub, which I listened to for my viewing for review, contains far less profanity and is often a little more subdued, with certain characters hiding more behind their words than they do in what I watched of the English track, which sets out the course of the movie quite clearly from the outset.

Perhaps one of my biggest disappointments with the movie is the ending. It all builds to the big showdown and SinTEK quite well, as you would expect, but the two final battles are something of a letdown. The penultimate fight is over all to quickly, with little struggle. It all comes off as Blade gets hurt, comes back, and wins. The final battle is all too similar, only incorporating a flashback to remind us why Blade is doing this. For a movie that had carried off some pretty good action sequences throughout, I expected more from the big finale.

In Summary:
I've never played the game, so I've no idea how the movie relates to it, but it certainly seems to be a product of what a western mainstream audience expects from their anime, with a "cool" main character and a healthy dose of violence and gore. Sin is a fairly average movie with some good moments throughout, but it suffers to a degree from a short runtime and having little that makes it really standout from the crowd. It's worth a watch, but there's far better out there to spend your money on.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Production Portfolio,Character Bios,Original Trailer

Review Equipment
Philips 28" Pure Flat Widescreen TV, Pioneer DV-464 code free DVD player, JVC gold-plated RGB SCART cable, standard stereo sound.


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