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Private detective Shunsaku and his young nephew and assistant Kenichi
come to Metropolis to find the mad scientist Laughton with the help of
robot Laughton. They arrive in town during the celebration for the
Ziggurat, and incredibly high tower reminiscent of the biblical tower of
Babel, given to the city by industrialist Duke Red, who is secretly also
the leader of the Malduk movement, a revolutionary movement that opposes
all robots which the society in Metropolis has become highly dependable on
- at the cost of human jobs ...
However, at the same time, Duke Red houses Laughton, who is not only
mad but also an organ thief, and lets him build Tima, the ultimate
human-robot hybrid based on his dead daughter, that is to be the master of
the Ziggurat, which is actually the ultimate weapon. However, Duke Red's
adopted son Rock is totally opposed to Tima out of sibling rivalry paired
with obvious madness, so one bright and sunny day, he blows up Laughton's
lab, and the Doctor and his robot with it ... or so he thinks, because
Shunsaku and Kenichi have just managed to catch up with the Doc, and while
Kenichi somehow manages to save the robot/girl - and gets lost withher in
the sewage systems of the town in the process - Shunsaku manages to secure
the Doctor's log ...
Rock however won't be satisfied until he sees Tima totally destroyed,
but instead finds her alive (or functioning, considering she is a robot),
and hunts her and Kenichi from the sewage systems up to street level,
where he finally manages to corner them - but when he corners the couple
and moves in for the kill, Duke Red intervenes, saving Tima from certain
extinction, taking Kenichi prisoner, and disowning Rock for good.
Rock however is not one to be easily beaten, and before you know it, he
has abducted Tima again and tries to get rid of her for good when Shunsaku
intervenes, puts Rock out cold and uses Tima to track down Kenichi ...
In the meantime though, Duke Red has first instigated then overthrown a
revolution and in the process killed the president so he can proclaim
himself ruler of Metropolis, and before long he has Tima and Shunsaku
captured, and now wants her to take control of the Ziggurat, even if she
wants to just be ahuman girl and is interested mainly in Kenichi.
Ultimately though, she climbs the throne of the Ziggurat - but with the
effect that she decides on the total extinction of mankind and the rule of
the robots - which in a gripping finale set to the song I can't Stop
Loving You as sung by Ray Charles, Fuke Red has to pay with his life,
but it's ultimately Kenichi who can keep her from putting her plan into
action as a whole, even if that means her demise and the total destruction
of the Ziggurat.
In the aftermath of the crash of Metropolis, Kenichi realizes that he
might want to stay with the robots - who as a whole have been much nicer
and more trustworthy towards him than the humans ...
First and foremost, Metropolis - very obviously inspired by
Fritz Lang's 1927 film of the same name without being derivative - is a
feast for the eye, it's set in a whimsical retro-futuristic world
reminiscent of art deco and classic cartoons (circa 1930's) as well as
technical drawings, old clockworks and the like, and it's very rich in
That's not to say though that Metropolis sucks on a narrative
level, it's a daring mix of a confoluted political thriller and a simple
love story, all in the context of a far-out science fiction tale, all
blended into one exciting, suspenseful and at times funny and sentimental
piece of film.
Quite simply put, fascinating, and definitely recommended !