The Amanto, aliens from outer space, have invaded Earth and taken over feudal Japan. As a result, a prohibition on swords has been established, and the samurai of Japan are treated with disregard as a consequence.
However one man, Gintoki Sakata, still possesses the heart of the samurai, although from his love of sweets and work as a yorozuya, one might not expect it. Accompanying him in his jack-of-all-trades line of workare Shinpachi Shimura, a boy with glasses and a strong heart, Kagura with her umbrella and seemingly bottomless stomach, as well as Sadaharu, their oversized pet dog. Of course, these odd jobs are not always simple, as they frequently have run-ins with the police, ragtag rebels, and assassins, oftentimes leading to humorous but unfortunate consequences.
Who said life as an errand boy was easy?
Cast & Credits
For sure, this is a movie intended for fans rather than newcomers (even the Yorozuya lampshade it in typical Gintama-style). It's not a great way to introduce someone to the wonderful bizarre world that is Gintama - the setting and protagonists are introduced rather shortly and then we jump right into the story. If you're not familiar with the series then you may have a hard time following the story -- the movie's main plot aka the Beninzakura arc is interesting enough but can't really be appreciated nor understood by viewers who've only known the characters and setting for like 15 minutes (with a lot of context cut out).
That aside, the content is fine overall. The movie captures the series' famous wacky sense of humour very well eg. over-the-top slapstick, broken fourth walls, shameless body humour (including Japan's beloved idol Kanna Hashimoto picking her nose and vomiting, just to give you an idea), and shout-outs/parodies galore -- some so blatant you will crack up. The serious side of the story is nothing special but still enjoyable. The action is a mixed bag -- sometimes entertaining, other times rather basic. Editing/CGI is sometimes cringey but can be easily ignored. For fans curious about any scene changes or additions, there are quite a few but they're mostly well done so they shouldn't bother you. The climax/final fight (film-original) was the only scene I hated - without spoiling anything, it felt very forced and pointless.
The quirky likeable characters are the best thing about the series, hands down. There's unfortunately only so much a movie can show, but this film does a fairly good job at bringing the best out of everyone in its 2 hour run. Maybe my only disappointment is Takasugi -- in this film he's not a very interesting antagonist since they don't really flesh him out here (which is a shame, he's great in the original series).
The acting quality itself varies, but credit to everyone for making an effort to be in character. My biggest complaint was Nanao as Matako who was hella flat, I felt like all she did was shout stiffly and pose with her guns. Kanna as Kagura was a little meh sometimes but I think I enjoyed her a lot more than others did. She shined more in her comedy scenes, whether it be her casually being gross or her slapping Shinpachi epically in the face ("BAAAKA MEGANEEEE"). Everyone else was mostly good. Shun Oguri and Masaki Suda did well as the other 2/3 of the Yorozuya -- Gintoki's irritable and snarky yet caring nature is there, and awkward tsukkomi!Shinpachi is very much alive. My fave has to be Ryo Yoshizawa, who captured Sougo's casual deadpan character perfectly.
Not much I can say since I don't remember most of it but nothing bad. The guitar OST that plays during a certain scene is lovely! A plus for fans is that it's similar to the song played in the same scene in the anime :D UVERworld's promotional song for the movie ("DECIDED") is awesome, definitely stick around for the credits to give it a listen! Last but not least, big applause to the uh "song" Gintoki sings in the "opening", apparently made-up by Oguri himself. It is a hoot haha
Don't expect a god-tier film or Gintama anime 2.0, because it isn't (nor was it meant to be). It's a cheesy fun movie that captures the Gintama spirit well and should be treated as such. New viewers may struggle to get through the film and I wouldn't blame you, but you may get something out of it. For fans, as long as your bias goggles are off, you'll be pretty entertained despite its flaws.
Story wise, the plot is from one of the major arc in the manga which introduced the background of Gintoki, the main character. Shun Oguri is such a fine man acting as Gintoki, I'm so thankful that they casted him to play that role. It's not going to be so hard to follow the plot if you didn't read the manga, it is the typical someone did something bad so the heroes need to set things right but with Gintama styled twist. Masaki Suda portrayed Shinpachi effortlessly, he really acted weak but with funny facial expressions, I laughed so hard in the cinema. Kanna Hashimoto also acted well as Kagura. Her scenes with Nanao are so remarkably funny. Nanao is so hot in the movie too, easy eye catcher. Special acknowledgement to Jiro Sato, if you guys remember him in Mr Nietzsche, his role is exactly as comical as that, I really like how he acted his comedy.
In terms of music, the background musics are appropriate with the scenes. UVERworld performed one of the OST, if you know them, the song Decided which is for this movie is awesome. Shun Oguri did sing for comical purposes lol.
Simply put, it is literally a part of the manga that has been transformed into live action. All the Gintama's wicked dark humor, their famous tag lines and the famous Gintama-style references to other mangas or animes are there in the movie. These stuffs are essential to Gintama. Kudos to the movie makers for didn't leave these things in this movie. Recommended.