Fullmetal Alchemist Live-Action Movie Review Roundup: What Are Critics Saying?

Netflix has quietly added one of its most intriguing titles in recent memory. The live-action adaptation of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime is now available to stream after premiering late last year in Japan.

The project is the first time Fullmetal Alchemist has been translated into a live-action adventure, which should be enough to pique the interest of longtime fans. The results, though, may not live up to the hype. With reviews of the film arriving thanks to its arrival on Netflix, the general consensus is that Fullmetal Alchemist is a very scattered effort.

It seems as though it’s a largely confusing endeavor, with ill-fitting wigs, pieces of the original story dumped out, and a plot that isn’t explained very well. It’s those things that might make it hard for viewers with no Fullmetal Alchemist history to understand the story unfolding in front of them. However, as some critics point out, there are moments that will stand out for longtime fans.

Take a look at a sampling of reviews below and then decide for yourself if it’s worth two-and-a-half hours of your precious Netflix time.

  • Movie: Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Release date: February 19

GameSpot

“The movie’s issues start immediately, as it brushes over the Elrics’ origin story in a weird hurry to get it over with. The scene of the ritual gone wrong cuts off halfway through, followed by a jarring jump several years into the future. Audience members unfamiliar with the source material are likely to simply scratch their heads at the ensuing action scenes, in which a young man in an ill-fitting blonde wig chases down a magic priest with the help of an empty suit of armor.” — Michael Rougeau [Full review]

Den of Geek

“While there are a lot of great moments in this movie, it’s a lengthy endeavor (nearly two and a half hours) and it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on thanks to a complicated, confusing plot and a cast that doesn’t always hit the mark.” — Daniel Kurland [Full review]

Monkeys Fighting Robots

“Without spoiling anything imagine Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone but the final battle in Deathly Hallows is at the end. It felt like Arakawa (who is also the creator of the property) wrote the script and midway through was told there is a low-percentage chance of a sequel happening.” — Nick Battaglia [Full review]

IGN

“The narrative often suffers from a lack of coherence and sequential breakdown. Perhaps in an effort to contain the sprawl, Sori chose to work with a small cast of a chosen few, but fans will be disappointed to find key characters are missing, including the brothers’ nemesis Scar and their boss, King Bradley.” — Kaori Shoji [Full review]

Variety

“[The] film’s greatest weakness is failing to adequately transmit the huge guilt Ed feels for having brought about his younger brother’s fate. This fundamental emotional element doesn’t receive proper attention until the story’s in full stride and then fails to resonate under the weight of uninspired dialogue and unconvincing delivery by Yamada.” — Richard Kuipers [Full review]

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