Updated: Aug 28
Hideaki Anno (Evangelion, Shin Godzilla, Shin Ultraman) is back to bring a proper finale to Evangelion. He showcases what he has learned under his famed mentor Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli). Fans of the franchise will really enjoy this movie, which brings the story and franchise to an end that is more than acceptable even to the harshest of fans. Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 is not only an worthy ending to the franchise it is visually stunning at moments. (It made us feel like the artists at Studio Khara watched a few of Makoto Shinkai's (Your Name, Weathering with You, 5 Centimeters per second) movies and added that touch of realism that will leaving the viewer wondering if that was an actual picture or scene or was it an animation. There are a few scenes that showcase how far CGI animation has come in the past years.
As with most movie franchises, Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 shows the growth of the characters, mentally and physically from the events of the previous movies. We would give this movie a 8.9 or even 9.0 out of 10. The only drawback, as the Mrs. pointed out, the flashback sequences are dizzying and unremarkable to those who haven't ever watched any of the Evangelion movies. As they explain the story so far, it is in a "previously" series of clips from the other movies, leaving the new viewers lost and confused.
I am trying to keep the review spoiler-free for those intending on watching the movie at a later time, which makes this review, brief. I would definitely recommend watching the entire series, in order to understand many parts of the story in this finale. Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 is fitting of the franchise and worthy of praise and a fitting conclusion to stories of our favorite EVA pilots.
As I mention on the front page, Amazon Prime is allowing this to streamed free for Prime members, with the option (if viewed on a computer) to create viewing parties with other members with real-time chat boxes for viewers. This will only be streamed free for Prime Members for TWO WEEKS ONLY so if you are planning on watching it through Amazon, your time will be limited.
Interesting factoid : Hideaki Anno brought in composer Shirō Sagisu, who is also resides in Paris half of the year, to handle the music for the film. Having really enjoyed his visits to Shiro Sagisu in Paris, Anno included the opening scene (10 minutes) to pay homage to Paris, aptly named AVANT1 ("before" in French). Also, Hideaki Anno, suffered from depression in 2015, which led him to declare publicly that he would not work on any more films. Part of his recovery was working with his mentor Hayao Miyazaki on the film The Wind Rises.