Ace Attorney (film)

Ace Attorney (Japanese: 逆転裁判, Hepburn: Gyakuten Saiban, lit. "Turnabout Trial") is a 2012 Japanese legal comedy-drama film, directed by Takashi Miike and based on the Capcom video game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.[3] The film stars Hiroki Narimiya, Mirei Kiritani, and Takumi Saito. It made its premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam on 1 February 2012 and was released in Japanese cinemas on 11 February 2012. The US premiere was made at the Hawaii International Film Festival in April 2012. Miike has stated there are plans for an international release with both dubbing and subtitles available for each specific region.[4]

Ace Attorney
Ace-attorney-poster.jpg
Directed byTakashi Miike
Written byTakeharu Sakurai
Sachiko Ōguchi[1]
Based onPhoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
by Shu Takumi[1]
StarringHiroki Narimiya
Mirei Kiritani
Takumi Saito
Music byKōji Endō[1]
CinematographyMasakazu Oka[1]
Edited byKenji Yamashita[1]
Production
company
Distributed byToho
Release date
  • 11 February 2012 (2012-02-11) (Japan)
Running time
134 minutes[1]
CountryJapan[1]
LanguageJapanese
Box office¥540 million[2] ($6.77 million)

PlotEdit

The court system, burdened by the massive number of crimes being committed, introduces a new trial system: the bench trial system. Both prosecution and defense face each other in open court and have three days to make their case before the judge renders a verdict.

Phoenix Wright is a rookie defense attorney who just won his first case: defending his friend Larry Butz with assistance from his mentor, Mia Fey. Butz gives Mia a statue of The Thinker as thanks. Wright is then thrust into a major case when Mia is murdered with the statue, and her younger sister Maya, a spirit medium, is accused of it. Facing off against childhood friend Miles Edgeworth, Wright manages to prove that Mia was murdered by photojournalist Redd White, and Maya is declared not guilty. After the case, Wright reveals to Maya that he decided to become a defense attorney after Edgeworth and Butz defended him when he was accused of stealing money when they were children.

Soon after, Wright learns that Edgeworth has been arrested for the murder of attorney Robert Hammond. Wright offers Edgeworth his help for defense and learns that he will be facing against Manfred von Karma, a vicious prosecutor with a perfect record who was also Miles's mentor. Despite von Karma's hostile case, Wright discovers that Hammond was murdered by Yanni Yogi. Yogi was involved fifteen years prior in the DL-6 case, in which Gregory Edgeworth, Miles's father, was murdered in the courtroom's evidence locker room. Yogi, then a court bailiff, was accused of the murder after he discovered Gregory allegedly tampering with a gun that was used as evidence in a case against von Karma. Hammond coerced him into pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, and he was released. The case destroyed Yogi's life, causing his wife to commit suicide and leading him to resort to living as a hermit. He claims to have received a package with a gun urging him to take revenge on Hammond and Miles. After Yogi's confession, Miles claims that he murdered his father, sparking a new investigation into the DL-6 case.

Wright proves that Miles is innocent of his father's murder, and uncovers evidence that von Karma was the one who murdered Gregory Edgeworth after having committed perjury. However, he cannot prove it as the gun Gregory was believed to have tampered with and was killed with has gone missing. While thinking of a plan, Wright accidentally breaks Mia's Thinker statue, and inside are Mia's notes on the DL-6 case and a bag with the bullet that killed Gregory, revealed to be the reason why she was killed. These pieces of evidence are used to incriminate von Karma, who suffers a breakdown in court and is arrested for murder and conspiracy, causing Miles to be acquitted of all charges.

Wright swears to defend Yogi for his crimes, and he and Miles reconcile. Butz later reveals that he was the one who stole the money that Wright was accused of stealing as children. Maya returns home for further training, while Miles and Wright continue their careers as prosecutor and defense attorney.

CastEdit

SoundtrackEdit

The music for Ace Attorney was composed by Kōji Endō [ja], known for scoring other films by Takashi Miike. For the soundtrack, Endō chose to use various themes by Masakazu Sugimori from the original video game and re-arranged them for an ensemble consisting of a string orchestra, an oboe, a clarinet, two French horns, a trumpet, and a choir. Additional background music was also newly composed. The soundtrack was later released on CD to tie in with the movie.[5] The film's theme song, "2012Spark", was composed and performed by the Japanese male rock group Porno Graffitti.[6]

ReleaseEdit

The film made its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam on 27 January 2012[7][1] with a release in Japanese cinemas on 11 February 2012.[3][1] The film made its US premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival in April 2012.[8][9] The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 22 August 2012 in Japan,[10] and on 17 April 2013 in Australia.[11] In Germany, the film was released by Koch Media on DVD and Blu-ray on 14 June 2013.[12] The film was available on Netflix for a time, but has since been removed. It is currently available on Quickflix as a "premium" film that customers can rent for 48 hours.[13]

ReceptionEdit

The movie earned over $1,547,000 in its opening weekend at the Japanese box office,[14] where it grossed ¥540 million ($6.77 million) during its theatrical run.[2]

The film received generally favorable reviews from critics.[15] Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku praised the film, calling it "the best video game movie ever",[16] which was also echoed by fellow Kotaku writer Matt Hawkins.[17] Paul Verhoeven of IGN scored it 8 out of 10, calling it a great "pitch-perfect adaptation of the game."[18] Ard Vijn of Screen Anarchy said he "loved it and so did most of the audience" at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.[19] Megan Lehmann of Hollywood Reporter called it a "cartoonishly fun legal drama".[20] Travis Hopson of AXS described it as "the perfect example of an adaptation done right, capturing the frenetic and confusing storylines while remaining fresh and engaging enough for newcomers" and achieving "a certain level of greatness."[21] Nintendo Life called it "the best video game movie out there."[22] Matthew Razak of Destructoid described it as a good movie "that not only grabs the gamer's side of things but becomes a thing in and of itself, something rarely done by gaming movies."[23] Brandon Harris of Indie Wire called it a stylish, "bizarre, oddly satisfying video game adaptation and otherworldly legal satire."[24]

Jay Weissberg of Variety referred to the film as a "dull production" that was "criminally long and generally lacking in [Miike's] playful visual hyperbole."[25] Wilma Jandoc of the Honolulu Star Advertiser lamented that the film could not easily translate the sillier aspects of the game into the movie, but contended that a viewer not privy to the video game series could be entertained if they focused on the more mystery/crime side of the movie and ignored the sillier parts.[26]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Elley, Derek (23 July 2012). "Ace Attorney". Film Business Asia. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "2013年2月下旬決算特別号". Kinema Junpo: 210. February 2013.
  3. ^ a b 逆転裁判. eiga.com (in Japanese). eiga.com. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  4. ^ Fletcher, JC. "Miike: Ace Attorney movie being localized for worldwide release". Joystiq.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Gyakuten Saiban Movie Original Soundtrack". vgmdb.net. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Porno Graffitti to Perform Ace Attorney Theme Song". animenewsnetwork.com. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Director Miike: Ace Attorney Film Will See Int'l Release". Anime News Network.
  8. ^ "Hawaiian Film Festival Screens Ace Attorney, Always: Sunset on Third Street '64 Films". Anime News Network.
  9. ^ "ACE ATTORNEY - 2012 Spring Showcase". Hawaii International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  10. ^ http://honto.jp/netstore/pd-dvd_85096456.html http://honto.jp/netstore/pd-dvd_85096457.html
  11. ^ "Ace Attorney". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Blu-Ray)". amazon.de. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  13. ^ https://www.quickflix.com.au/Catalogue/Movies/AceAttorney/T69026?catalogueFunction=QuickSearch
  14. ^ "Gyakuten saiban (Ace Attorney) (2012)". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Ace Attorney (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  16. ^ Richard Eisenbeis. "Ace Attorney Is the Best Video Game Movie Ever (Take That, Hollywood!)". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  17. ^ Hawkins, Matt (June 28, 2012). "Why Ace Attorney Succeeds and Hollywood Fails". Kotaku.
  18. ^ "Ace Attorney Review". IGN. 9 August 2012.
  19. ^ "IFFR 2012 Review: ACE ATTORNEY leads the witnesses!". Screen Anarchy. 28 January 2012.
  20. ^ "Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 5 August 2012.
  21. ^ Hopson, Travis (22 April 2012). "FilmFest DC Review: 'Ace Attorney', directed by Takashi Miike". AXS.
  22. ^ "Movie Review: Ace Attorney". Nintendo Life. 19 October 2012.
  23. ^ "Movie Review: Ace Attorney". Destructoid. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
  24. ^ Harris, Brandon (3 February 2012). "Rotterdam Review: Takashi Miike's 'Ace Attorney' A Stylish, Bizarre Video Game Adaptation & Legal Satire". IndieWire.
  25. ^ Weissberg, Jay (29 January 2012). "Ace Attorney". Variety. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  26. ^ Jandoc, Wilma (13 April 2012). ""Ace Attorney," the review: Turnabout perception". Honolulu Star Advertiser. Retrieved 4 July 2013.

External linksEdit