Tuesday, 27 January 2015

BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn. Bye Bye Babylon, hello... RomeIn the desert?

The quest for the Ignika, the longest plot in the BIONICLE Story line from the first Generation. 3 continents, two universes, 5 years of story with plans for it to go on longer... Who knew you could have so much of a plot revolving around a Mask of Life. Three years of the story revolves around the return of Mata Nui, not only showing the intent of the mask, to bring Mata Nui back to life, but to awaken him from the sleep Teridax put him in during the Metru Nui Arc. For the full story on just what happened, Links to the years are here (2006 2007 2008). I recommend you do this though if want to know what the heck is going on during the rest of the review... or at least the set up. With that though, 4 years after Web of Shadows, its time to go to a new universe entirely... kinda... Time to learn of Bara Magna's past, BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn.

So Mata Nui lives and we learn that almost everything that has happened prior to 2008 was happening inside the mini universe that is the giant robot body of Mata Nui. The world is saved, everything is right in the world... right? Turns out Teridax was thinking so far ahead its not even funny and has taken over Mata Nui's body, forcing his mind into the Mask of Life and launching the mask into the stars... scrap... While the intro animation does look nice, I'm going to side track a bit to point out a small problem. According to what I've found, the robot body was on moon known as Aqua Magna, and see this shot here?
That blue moon is Aqua Magna... So what was the Mask's flight path? There's the scenic route and then there's the "now you're just being arrogant" route.
Anyway, the Mask of Life crash lands in the desert planet of Bara Magna and, using its sands, builds a new body for Mata Nui. Upon defeating a mutated scorpion known as a Vorox and breaking its tale, forcing it to flee. Mata Nui, by a chance only explained by a miracle, was found by an Agori called Metus, who takes him to the nearest village. While at the village of Vulcanus, we're introduced to the idea of Glatorians and if you're first thought is Gladiators, that's because they pretty much are. After saving a Glatorian by the name Ackar, Mata Nui, Ackar and a female Glatorian from Tajun called Kiina who travel to a fore mentioned village to find that its been destroyed by Bone Hunters and Skrall forces. With this knowledge, the three, now joined by a Agori by the name Berix and a rookie Glatorian by the name Gresh travel to Gresh's village of Tesara to stop the Glatorian battles and form an aliance to counter the Skrall and Bone hunters. Kiina and Berix are captured by a Agori Traitor and, as a result, Mata Nui travels to the Skrall camp, defeat the leader of the Skrall, the "All mighty Tuma" (make of that as you wish) and, as a result, a battle between the Glatorian and the Skrall, now shown to be led by Metus. The Skrall are stopped and the story leads to a year that was never made. The reason I say this is because this is BIONICLE's last full year, the last sets of the first generation would be released at the start of 2010, in the form of BIONICLE Stars.
There are two reasons why this is a confusing plot for new comers. the first being, this takes place 3 years after Web of Shadows (in out time... don't ask), in that time we had the tales of Voya Nui, Mahri Nui and Karda Nui, all three are needed to be know to understand what the heck is happening at the start. The other problem is that, unlike Mask of Light, there is actually story prior to the movie, giving more of an explanation to the world of Bara Magna. Sadly though, those are just the problems with telling a story half way through, you miss key details.
The characters this time are much more diverse in terms of personality, and I think it comes from the fact that Glatorian aren't like Toa. Until the final battle, they're not forcing the overarching concepts of the series (Unity, Duty and Destiny). As a result, we get to see unique characters that aren't anything like what the Toa are. Ackar is a wise character, a teacher, which while yes is over used, I find it better to see this coming from a Fire based character, in comparison to Tahu and Vakama who are arrogant hot heads. Kiina's desperate to find a better life and, as such, behaves in a way you wouldn't ever see Gali or Nokama behave. One thing I should mention is that in the Matoran universe, all Ga Matoran are female, so that alone should clue you in on what I thought when I herd Berix and another water tribe Glatorian called Tarix speak with male voices (It may not sound like much, but after 9 years of the lore saying "characters with blue armor are female"... moving on... Probably the worst character in this is Mata Nui himself which, while he is a strong character, its more the way he behaves in this world, as he is used to the ways of the Matoran universe, the universe to which he was a god, he behaves like a standard Toa would.

The animation looks both better and worse then Web of Shadows. Better by way of the characters and vehicles, even the animals like the Scorpio as they have a lot of detail to them now, but worse by the way of the world itself. Bara Magna is, for the most part, a desert, and while the villages look nice, its the filler in between that's forgettable. Again though, there's not much you can do in a desert. The soundtrack is also different from the last three films, but still on the same quality as Web of Shadows, pops out at times, but nothing memorable, well, except for one song.
The movie itself is quite good, but looking at these four films now, I can see why LEGO canceled the first generation. As the years went on, it became more and more confusing for new comers to break into the series because of all the required back story, all the unique terms, its the same as why Comic books keep getting rebooted every few years. Here's hoping for this new generation to learn from the mistakes of the last. The next review's going to be a bit of both TV and games, the series of videos showcasing the school gamers would love to go to, Video Game High School Seasons 1-3. But before that, need some more play list material? Then come back Monday for some. But until then... well, I think this sums it up...

*Final note, this is the credits theme of the movie

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