The second Assassination Classroom movie is finally out, and fans can rejoice, or cry, as the tentacle teacher is doomed to die. Subtitled “Graduation Edition” or Sotsugyō hen (卒業編), this sequel tried to give closure to the problems faced by the students in the first movie, which overall, isn’t bad if you had the expectations of meh and yawn. But who knew that assassination could be so utterly boring?
Like all live action movie adaptations go, time constraints did impair this movie. Major symbolic events (i.e., Takaoka’s vendetta, the school festival, Koro-sensei’s past) were poorly pieced together, making the flow of the story rather awkward. This movie resembles a crude compilation loosely based off the manga, with equally defective choice of cast for the students.
Maybe I expect too much of the younger cast to have polished their acting skills. After all, there are more compatible (and suitable!) actors who specialise in stage plays who could also act in this movie. Perhaps it is also the conceit of the producers to choose well-known faces, which you may be surprised to find, are not quite experienced enough to express the vital emotions. Ninomiya Kazunari, on the other hand, has done a superb job on voicing Koro-sensei’s signature laugh and acting the role of the world’s most dangerous criminal.
Putting the cast aside, the action in each symbolic event was bland. Takaoka’s declaration for revenge was poorly executed and the total lack of suspense made the scene tedious to watch. Itona’s fight with Nagisa and Karma was also largely fan service served with wide panning shots rather than actual action. Cue irrelevant screaming by the rowdy audience.
Other than the CG tentacle fight scenes, the scenes which involved actual physical contact were dull. The face-off between Nagisa and Karma felt like a brawl instead of two students trained in assassination techniques. There were no precision in their attacks. Sure, die-hard fans would totally disagree, arguing that the chaotic fight was symbolic of their strong emotions, resulting in such an awkward fight. But such a plan is way above the acting skills of their calibre. The idol cast needs more sparring practice and stunt training. I can’t believe Yamada actually received an award for acting as Nagisa.
Remarkably, the story of Koro-sensei’s elusive past was well done—until someone in the audience screams again, destroying the atmosphere. This isn’t your private viewing, please don’t ruin the only good parts. Immature audience aside, the development of Koro-sensei’s backstory was probably the best part, thanks to the older cast’s stellar acting. In fact, Ninomiya’s portrayal of the trapped Shinigami did almost make me sad about his impending death.
Assassination Classroom: Graduation is out in cinemas on April 28th 2016. Watch if you don’t mind wasting 118 minutes of your life.
Or: watch Gunma-chan tour the classroom set hoping to catch a glimpse of Koro-sensei below.