Blu-Ray Review: Bayonetta - Bloody Fate (2013)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Thursday, January 1, 2015 7 comments

"Bayonetta: Bloody Fate" is an animated action film based on the action packed video game series of the same name.  This film opens up with a lecture on the history of the great war between "Witches" and "Angels" that ends telling a story about a child whom his/her (it doesn't say in the story) parents were a Witch and an Angel.  We cut to a church where we see a journalist named "Luka" is setting up his camera to capture something huge.  In the church we see a nun chanting something to summon Angels but when they show we see that this person isn't a nun at all but rather an Angel hunting Witch named Bayonetta.  We then see Bayonetta shooting the Angels to hell (metaphorical hell) all over the church and thus we see that Luka is trying to capture pictures of Bayonetta at work.  Once the battle has ended we see Bayonetta meeting up with Luka and smashing his camera.  Luka wasn't the only one watching her as just down the road we see a mysterious woman spying on them.  Bayonetta relaxes at a bar called "Gates of Hell" (brilliant bar name) and watches the news and hears that a church lead by a guy named Balder is trying to resurrect a dead God.  Bayonetta doesn't like that and thus she is on her way to put a stop to him but on her way she gets caught in a portal.  In this portal she meets a little girl but soon after they get attacked by Angels.  Bayonetta defeats the Angels and takes the little girl with her.  Will Bayonetta find out who this mysterious girl is?  Will she put a stop to Balder?  (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

The story in this film does show some promise after a nice opening scene but then the film slows down with some very average storytelling.  It's not just that the story slows down as but it's also that the story doesn't progress much during most of this film as it is mainly filler.  When the story did progress I was mixed on it as I did enjoy some of it but a good chunk of the scenes are just not very interesting and can be just as dull as the filler itself.  Another problem I have with the writing is just how predictable this film is as you can see every single plot twist coming from ten miles away and you will not feel a sense of satisfaction from them and you'll just think it was a dumb move. 

As far as action scenes go you'll get a pretty good opening action scene and a very decent ending battle but every battle in between just wasn't very interesting as there wasn't much going on during them.  A huge problem with the final battle scene isn't the battle scene itself but the slow nature of everything that happens in-between the start and end of the film as it'll drain all of the excitement out of you.  By the time you get to the final fight you won't be all that motivated to watch and it was a shame.  What I liked about the good action scenes was the mixture of good choreography and just how crazy they can get.

Most of the characters in this film weren't very interesting at all as they ranged from having generic personalities to barely having any personality at all.  Not all of them were soulless as there were some characters that were very likable much like Bayonetta herself and another character named Rodin who is there to aid Bayonetta when she can afford it.  The main villain was also pretty cool but he barely appears in this film at all and that's very odd seeing as he is Bayonetta's target and so you'd think he'd appear in more than the few short scenes he was in.

Artwork in this show has a very dark and sharp look that comes out as very crisp and clear.  Character designs in this film were all over the place as some shots they looked really good but in other shots you'll see problems like the art-quality dropping down and some shots were just drawn badly to where the characters looked disgusting.  Bayonetta is a great example of inconsistent art quality as while she can look very good there'll be a scene where parts of her look off to the point where you'll turn your head wondering what you are supposed to be looking at, funny enough this problem mostly occurs during the fan-service parts (the sexy kind of fan-service).  There were also a decent chunk of characters that had very boring designs to where it wasn't helping me enjoy the film.  Animation in this film ranges from passable to very choppy to a point where I wanted to stop watching this film.

I'm a Peacock! Ca-caw!
I was very mixed on the English dub as the quality in voices and acting fluctuate about as much as the art-work itself.  The voices did work with the characters though but the acting was all over the place as some scenes the voices seemed very natural but in a lot of the scenes the voice acting sounds very annoying and forced.  I have no problem with the soundtrack of this film... Or lack of soundtrack I should say as there were a lot of scenes with no music and the silence just didn't work well as it didn't add any atmosphere and just helped with the boring nature.  When there is music it did sound good and did go along with the scenes well.  The soundtrack did include the theme song to the arcade game "After Burner (1987)" and it was an awesome thing to hear and it also went well with the scene it was part of and thus is also one of the highlights of the film

There are some decent features on this release as you do get some very nice looking storyboards, an audio commentary from the actors that worked on this film (Jonathan Klein and Hellena Taylor*)  and the trailer that was made for the USA.  The storyboard section has a lot of sketches and I did enjoy them as they were very interesting to look at.  I find it very sad as even though the special features section is small, it is still much more entertaining than the film itself.

*Note: This part of the review was edited due to a friendly comment (literal "friendly" and not a sarcastic one) pointing out that I f**'*ed up hard in one spot.  Thanks for pointing that out and I apologize for unintentionally giving wrong information.

Overall this is an incredibly average and boring film and I do not recommend anybody checking this out.  I wouldn't say that this is the worst animated film based on a video game but it defiantly doesn't help get rid of the clich√© of "there's no good film or show based on a video game"...  Even though there's good shows/films based on video games (just watch "Clannad (2007 - 2009)" but I was just going on what the general public thinks of them.  Stick to the video games.

Title: Bayonetta - Bloody Fate
Animation/Production Studio: Gonzo
Genre: Animation/Anime, Action
Running Time: 90 minutes
Distributor: Madman Entertainment
Rating: MA15+ (Strong animated violence, nudity)
Price: $34.95
Recommended: No


Unknown said...

Your review of Bayonetta Bloody Fate appears to be a fraud. I quote the following from your review:
"The commentary track is done by actors that work at Funimation".
This is the first of many false statements that show you couldn’t have listened to the commentary.
The commentary was done by voice director Jonathan Klein, of New Generation Pictures, an independent contractor, and by Hellena Taylor (voice of Bayonetta), who resides in the UK and has NEVER worked for Funimation prior to this project. I count one director and one actress, neither of which work at Funimation. Klein even says so in the first few minutes of the commentary. NONE of the voice actors in this movie are actors who work at Funimation, as you claim. THEY’RE THE ORIGINAL VOICE CAST OF THE BAYONETTA 1 & 2 VIDEOGAMES recorded in Los Angeles and the UK. This is an important fact that is mentioned throughout the commentary, but which you failed to mention even once, unlike every other DVD review posted on the Internet! So how did you come to this assessment about them all being "actors that work at Funimation", if you claimed to have listened to the commentary?
Your review continues; "if you've read my previous reviews or even listened to a Funimation commentary track you'll know what to expect. If you don't know what to expect? You can expect some nice trivia and insight to what went on with the dub and you'll also get a lot of hi-jinx as the Funimation crew like to goof around."
There is one part of this quote that’s true: "You can expect some nice trivia and insight to what went on with the dub". Indeed, Klein and Taylor do give a lot of info into what went into this dub, including tracking down and assembling the original videogame voice cast. But it goes way beyond that by Ms. Taylor talking about her entire history with the Bayonetta Videogame Franchise and a lot more.
However, the rest you described as "you'll also get a lot of hi-jinx as the Funimation crew like to goof around." is completely false and shows that you didn't listen to the commentary for even one second. There is no "hi-jinx" as you describe. It is a straight, serious, occasionally amusing, and quite informative commentary. In fact, many reviews have given the commentary high praise, because it’s UNLIKE the typical Funimation commentary tracks. For example;
"Extras: - Commentary on the film with Jonathan Klein, the ADR director of the film, Helena Taylor, the voice of Bayonetta. I actually really appreciated this track on being included, as Klein had to travel…to England to be able to include Helena in the commentary….Quite a bit of the commentary plays as two friends catching up and but they do go in depth about their past work and the film. Overall it was enjoyable and worth the listen." -
"While there isn’t much bonus materials on offer the highlight of the extra features, for me, was the Directors Commentary; a commentary which sees Hellena Taylor (voice of Bayonetta) and the English ADR Director explaining how the videogame and films were dubbed into English and the lengths that were taken to secure all of the voice actors needed." -
I could go on with more quotes, from other sites, all saying the same thing. However, it's obvious that the commentary track they describe and the commentary track you describe, are different. It's not even a difference of opinion; it's a complete difference of details. So the question becomes, what commentary track did you listen to? My guess is none. That you made up your own review simply based on past Funimation commentary tracks.
So, if you couldn't even bother to listen to the commentary track, yet write a review about it as if you did, what other parts of this film could you not be bothered to actually watch, or listen to, and yet still comment about? Or in your other reviews?

Your comment?

Unknown said...

P.S. I saved this page as a PDF and forwarded it to Funimation, Madman and voice director Jonathan Klein (through his company). So please don't attempt to delete my post and your original review to pretend it never happened.

Retrokaiser said...

My bad on saying that the voice actor worked at funimation. Thanks for pointing that out. Really glad you read my review.

Anonymous said...

Ignore Dan Mann, he's clearly a looney. You don't need to give trolls like him the time of day.

Anonymous said...

Also, I enjoyed the review very much. It seems like the similar pap that Japanese game companies now regularly churn out to milk more money out of their games. This seems on the same level of stupid as Street Fighter: The Animated Movie and Final Fantasy: Advent Children.

Were this a live-action movie, I would actually care. Hacky anime cash-ins are just a real epidemic.

J Klein said...

Hi, first let me introduce myself. My name is Jonathan Klein and I was the English voice director of Bayonetta: Bloody Fate.

I was forwarded to this site by an email from Dan Mann. The way he had described your review in his email made it seem like you wrote some slanderous hit-job about myself and Hellena. Fortunately that doesn't seem to be the case at all. So let me make 2 comments and I'll be on my way.

1) Thank you for writing your review of the movie. Whether you liked it, or not, I appreciate you taking the time to watch the film and share with us your thoughts and impressions. I appreciate reading constructive criticism, so that perhaps, in the future, all those involved will be able to take that into account and improve upon our work.

2) While Mr. Mann seems to be somewhat "exaggerated" in his vitriolic comments here and his email to me, he is right on one point. Your description of our commentary extra, is pretty much incorrect. You wrote your review from the viewpoint as someone who had listened to the commentary, but based on the written details, it almost seems as if you haven't. The commentary was just Hellena Taylor and myself. I talked about my experiences working on the anime and Hellena talked about her experiences working as Bayonetta in both the anime and videogame. We also gave a bit of background into our work history together and perhaps spent a bit too much time talking about where we were, at Shepperton Studios :) . I think Hellena and I joked around a little in the commentary, but I don't believe there was a lot of hi-jinx or goofing around as you wrote in your review. And you acknowledged in your reply to Dan Mann that Hellena and I are not part of Funimation, but you still left that out in your review above.

With that being said, I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with not reviewing the commentary. The main point of your review was to cover the movie itself, and express your impressions of it. The commentary was just a secondary extra and not relevant to your movie review.

If I could make a suggestion, please either remove the inaccurate generalization of the commentary and simply note the fact that there exists a commentary between Hellena and myself. Or, if you have the time, please feel free to listen to the commentary and give your impression of it.

Other than that, I wish you all the best in your future reviews and thank you for taking the time to read this comment.


Jonathan Klein
New Generation Pictures, Inc.

Retrokaiser said...

Can do.

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