Deunan and her cyborg lover Briareos are part of an elite task force known as ES.W.A.T. (Especial Weapons And Tactics), together they police the streets of Olympus, humanity’s last refuge in a post-apocalyptic world. But when Briareos is gravely injured, Deunan is assigned a new partner: Tereus – a clone of Briareos!
Unfortunately, Appleseed Ex Machina doesn’t do this love triangle justice. Sure it goes through the motions. Briareos and Tereus realize just how alike they are. Duenan “gets confused” (as she puts it) with her emotions. Briareos and Tereus scuffle. Yada yada yada. You never really care, but you should. Deunan didn’t fall in love with a cyborg! She stayed with the man she loves despite his becoming a cyborg. (see video below) And here you’ve got this guy that looks and sounds just like him (pre-op) but she never acts on it. BULLSHIT. At the very least you’d think Briareos would take some of his jealousy out on her. But no, he soldiers on.
Perhaps it was the hackneyed plot that got in the way of developing the characters. Right off the bat, Deunan asks her friend Hitomi about an strange earpiece everyone seems to be wearing. Shocked by her L7ness, Hitomi conveniently explains to Deunan (and the audience) that it’s called the Connexus, the most advance personal mutlimedia terminal ever made (take that iphone). Best of all, it’s open source! Hmm… Everyone’s got a rewritable computer program plugged into their brain. Yeah that won’t end badly.Even the villain is painfully predictable. Let’s see, who could be responsible for the ensuing brain-hack? Could it be the one and only scientist/doctor we see for the entire movie: Dr. Kestner. He carries out his insidious plan all while working as ES.W.A.T.’s head physician but he isn’t fooling anyone, well except for all the automatons that populate this utterly unbelievable world.
Even if you’re watching this solely for the mechas, you’re gonna be disappointed. The action pales in comparison to the first movie. Throughout the movie they lazily reuse mechas like a construction robot that wasn’t even that cool the first time they fought it. And in what should be the most exciting scene, the final battle, they fight what looks like flying forceps. Final rating: B for busted.