Director: Shinsuke Sato
Whereas originally we were dropped straight into the mix, here thirty minutes of slow and dull exposition is dumped on us before anything close to exciting has happened. Cramming an entire manga series into two films was never going to be easy and the demands of a lengthy and complicated narrative finally take their toll. The new characters that are introduced contribute little, and by broadening the scope it makes this conclusion a muddled affair. Perfect Answer, as the title would have you believe, is an attempt at explanation. The convoluted one offered here strains to wrap everything up neatly which was never going to be an easy task..
Ninomiya's acting was already beginning to show signs of weakness, but the spotlight of the love interest and added heroism required of him here really illuminates the cracks. For the majority of the film he is fine, but when he sends it up with a mixture of anguished shouting, and some injured, struggling for breath crawling, it puts even the most hammy thespians to shame. The PG-13 relationship with Tae is tiresome, cutesy, and hard to care about. She is a pretty hollow presence and going for meek ends up moot. Their love story eventually takes centre stage and all the clever ideas built up dissolve in its blandness.
The aliens this time round are essentially just humans. Veins of black smoke trickle down to reform their limbs and they do that standard flittery eye thing to denote their unearthly status thing, but don’t expect any of the giddy heights reached previously. Before each action scene in part one you were wondering just what on earth is going to happen next, well in this film you know. There are no crazy looking 1950’s cartoon character robots, no angry deities, no half vegetable Frankensteins, just plain old run of the mill humans.. I was reminded of that common criticism of sequels that the formula is simply make everything bigger and louder. Well, for once that might not have been such a terrible idea because here less is less.