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Appleseed review

Pneumatic bods and bots collide in this hugely derivative anime shoot-'em-up that's everything you'd expect and less. Adapted from Ghost In The Shell creator Masamune Shirow's hit '80s manga series, it's the usual blast: humans versus technology, post-apocalyptic anxiety, women with fantastic racks.

Hiking from scorched metropolis to utopian neo-Eden, kick-ass über-babes battle terrorist cyborgs who (like Blade Runner's replicants) rage for the right to live and feel. Visually it's lavish, fluidly fusing traditional animation with motion-capture and CG to striking effect. Matrix-style camera swerves and slo-mo give the combat a stylish kick, but videogame designer Shinji Aramaki proves a weak director when it comes to anything else. Sandbagged by stodgy exposition that mines mythology and fairytale to no discernable effect, Appleseed's core is hollow: for all the flash and shadow, there's no soul writhing under the skin.

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