REVIEW: ‘Altered Carbon: Resleeved,’ Brutal Action with a Cyber Punk Edge

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Altered Carbon: Resleeved

Altered Carbon: Resleeved is a cyberpunk action movie from Netflix starring Ray Chase, Brittany Cox, and Elizabeth Maxwell. In the future, humanity has traveled to the stars. The limits of expansion are being tested in every way. This includes the limits of death. People have discovered a way to transfer consciousness into a digital form, making death no longer inevitable. Now, as people slip from one body, or “sleeve,” to another, who someone becomes is even more difficult to determine.

Fleshing out more of the world introduced in the original Altered Carbon series, Altered Carbon: Resleeved takes viewers into the world of the Mizumoto clan. This clan of yakuza is preparing for an extremely important event for the clan. But when a crucial participant, a teenage tattoo artist named Holly (Maxwell) comes under attack from outside assailants, things quickly become unstable. Through a chance meeting with Takeshi Kovacs (Chase), she finds safety. Now serving as her bodyguard, along with a no-nonsense CTAC agent named Gena (Cox), Takeshi searches out the answer to the mystery of why someone wants Holly dead in a tale that would only fit in the world of Altered Carbon.

Altered Carbon: Resleeved is my first foray into this sci-fi universe. I’ve always heard good things about this franchise, I just have never gotten around to checking it out. This didn’t hinder my enjoyment of this feature whatsoever.  An interesting plot, reasonably solid characters, and a plethora of brutal fight sequences all came together to deliver a solid sci-fi action story that uses its setting in intelligent ways. With a mostly solid story, I really enjoyed the ending. I won’t give spoilers, but I felt that everything came together in a satisfyingly unique way that utilized its setting very well.

Altered carbon: resleeved

Along with the story of Altered Carbon: Resleeved, the characters contained within mostly fall into the rank of solid performances. While none of these characters blew me away, they never broke my enjoyment of the movie any. From the stern government agent to the cocky crime boss, every character delivered pretty much what I expected of them.

That isn’t to say Altered Carbon: Resleeved isn’t without its heart. There are a couple of scenes involving the young protagonist Holly that did tug on my heartstrings. But, these moments of true investment in the movie’s characters are few and far between.

The true star of this feature is its action sequences. Stylish and brutal are the adjectives that spring to mind when thinking of these moments. Everything you would expect from an M rated action movie involving cyber ninjas is present. Lots of slicing and dicing takes place, even as walls of gunfire ring out to vainly attempt to stop assailants.  But it’s not just brutality that makes these sequences shine. It’s also the design of the many hand-to-hand engagements.

Much like Netflix’s recent CG anime release Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045, Altered Carbon: Resleeved delivers a tight, skilled display of martial prowess from its combatants. To be honest, these two films are really making me love animated fights more than I ever have before. With the ability to make every punch and throw be executed with perfection, the battles here just look stunning. I’ve almost managed to forget the horror of “shaky cam” that so many action directors tend to lean on.

While the fight implementation was superb, the overall visual design of Altered Carbon: Resleeved is just good. The CG presentation feels a little stiff in the moment to moment events of the story. This stiffness most heavily presents itself during more emotional moments. I can’t help but feel like these moments would’ve been better delivered in a more classic animation style.

When all is said and done, Altered Carbon: Resleeved delivers an enjoyable action tale of yakuza and treachery. While the animation stifles some of the emotional delivery, it never completely loses its characters. Moments of genuine emotion are present, even if they struggle to come through. Buoyed up by some incredible fight sequences and this movie provides a tale well worth checking out.

Altered Carbon: Resleeved is available now on Netflix.

Altered Carbon: Resleeved
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

While the animation stifles some of the emotional delivery, it never completely loses its characters. Moments of genuine emotion are present, even if they struggle to come through. Buoyed up by some incredible fight sequences and this movie provides a tale well worth checking out.