Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: (voices) Steven Blum, Wendee Lee, Beau Billingslea, Mellisa Fahn
Written by: Keiko Nobumoto, Hajime Yatate
Directed by: Shinichiro Watanabe
MPAA Rating: R for some violent images
Running Time: 116
Date: 09/01/2001
IMDB

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)

3 Stars (out of 4)

New Tracker City

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on the popular manga and TV series, "Cowboy Bebop" finally makes it to the big screen, and it might be the most lucid and flat-out enjoyable anime in some time (Spirited Away notwithstanding). In the film, three freelance bounty hunters -- the ultra-cool Spike (voiced by Steven Blum), the scary-looking but soft-hearted Jet (voiced by Beau Billingslea) and the sexy, whip-smart Faye (voiced by Wendee Lee), with their young computer genius Ed (voiced by Mellisa Fahn) -- look for work on Mars in the year 2071. Times are tough and they're sick of eating noodles, but things turn around when a bioterrorist attacks and officials offer a huge bounty on the culprit's head. As with any big screen version of a comic book/TV series, the filmmakers up the stakes a great deal, providing not only more explosions and bigger set pieces, but also more atmosphere, as when Spike lurks through Chinatown, looking for clues; the light filters through slats and lands in secret doorways while the silences last and last. Above all, director Shinichiro Watanabe manages to keep the audience interested in Cowboy's quirky characters -- and their relationships with each other -- all the way through to the expected climactic showdown.

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