Netflix has released The Seven Deadly Sins: Cursed by Light, based on the anime The Seven Deadly Sins, which is still struggling to forgive its fourth and final season. With some trepidation, this latest feature film is welcome to fill the series’ many gaps and to restore the franchise’s prominence. Unfortunately, this promise was only half kept.
STORIES THAT NEVER END
To stir the knife a little more in the wound, keep in mind that seasons 3 and 4 of the studio-supervised Seven Deadly Sins, also responsible for the final feature film, are sloppy and largely disappointing, both from a narrative and technical standpoint. After a reasonable apprehension about the plastic quality of this second film, we can therefore recognize a marked improvement in the animation, which is much more dynamic and detailed, despite some of the more grainy synthetic images.
This latest adaptation of Nakaba Suzuki ‘s manga is directed by Takayuki Hamana , who has never worked on a license and brings a breath of fresh air and real cinematic ambition here .
Not to mention a masterpiece, this film offers some more thoughtful staging ideas, but also neat sets, vivid colors, and more complex camera movements than we’re used to seeing these days. The fights thus find epic and spectacular aspects exaggerated – namely the minimum one would ask of shonen – with the bonus return of composers Kohta Yamamoto and Hiroyuki Sawano to elevate the whole.
But after this nice visual and sound shock, we quickly came to understand that The Seven Deadly Sins: Cursed by Light was more of a painful final creak than the swan song for its adaptation, and that the film faced the same scriptwriting pitfalls as the ‘anime. The action takes place six months after the defeat of the Demon King and therefore a year before the first elliptical of the final episode of season 4, where the Seven Deadly Sins each went their own way before meeting again ten years later, in a happy mood. and a kingdom of peace.
From there, Rintarou Ikeda’s screenplay (written from the original idea by the author) can’t introduce new decisive bets or bring out new villains more powerful than the heroes have faced.
He just promised one more useless twist on the anime ending Holy War. But also, and above all, a way to dignify the character’s narrative arc and to answer certain unanswered questions, especially those relating to Arthur and Chaos. Except that this is where the movie crashes again.
Concretely, apart from satisfying fans by including images of weddings that have taken place off-screen, the film brings nothing to the mythology, only the faces of the characters quickly mentioned in the series. Many of the other protagonists are mainly used to rank up during battle or appear in forced vignettes, when they don’t make any cameos at all.
Apart from not telling anything new about the characters and their swirling relationship (Méliodas and Zeldris had gotten close in the last season), the film also shows the characterization of the final antagonist it wants to highlight: the giant Dubs and the second Fairy King, Dahlia. The film never looks at them, their motivations, or the life they lived for 3,000 years, locking them into their simple role as triggers. The script is content to cover them as easily as introducing them, leaving more new questions behind than additional answers, unlike what he intended to do.
Since the franchise tends to sand down the same themes on family, that the father of Méliodas is the final enemy of the series and that the Supreme Goddess is the final keystone of the Holy War, there’s nothing particularly surprising that the film’s archenemy is Elizabeth’s mother. His battle against the Seven Deadly Sins is predictable, but even if it had to figure out the outcome, the film could offer a dantesque clash, Avengers: Endgame between an alien army of tyrannical gods and the forces of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Instead, we’re entitled to a score settlement in three moves with a combined strike from Zeldris and Meliodas to formalize their new brotherhood, should there still be any doubts about their reconciliation in the series. The mother and daughter were placed on the same ship, as “Ellie the killer” as she was ridiculously nicknamed, was once again forbidden to fight to cast magic dust on the wounded.
This final battle, aesthetic, but rushed and disappointing, like the rest of the story, runs at thousands of miles per hourso too much off-camera action. Even more damaging, the film never bothers to stop at the plot orchestrated by the Supreme Goddess, which is after all the basis of intrigue. And Arthur in all of this? He is the King of Chaos and a new era, seems good since ten years later, everything seems to be going well in Britannia.
From what little we see, the lord of Camelot has become a serious and tormented character (perhaps ultimately interesting), and we remain frustrated at not knowing more about this character’s fate and evolution with the naked eye. but unfortunately under-exploited. After the film’s solid 80 minutes unfold, we wonder what use it is, if not to offer a battle that’s won in advance, but more beautiful and epic than the cold soup served in the last two seasons of the anime.