MHA: Heroes Falling (Heroes Rising Review)

At face value, if you go into this film enjoying the show and just wanting a longer format version, then this film is successful.

If you’re hoping this film offers something more than you’re mistaken. Unlike anime films like Bunny Girl Senpai, shounen series struggle to catch a break as all their films feel more like long running episode adaptations rather than a unique take on the world. Compared to the previous My Hero Academia film, this movie felt less substantial or impactful and instead delivered a number of lackluster and plothole filled moments, while sidelining characters for the sake of meeting the allotted time.

In the first act, we see the villain, Nine, meet up with his team, while UA’s 1-A goes to an island to handle odd jobs. The two cross paths eventually when Nine steals the powers from the father of an islander, only to find that the powers are incompatible with his blood type. Since the father can only repair cells for people with Type-B blood, Nine and his team head towards the island to go after the son, who happens to have the same powers. What changes though is that the sons power is never explained in terms of limitations, instead, while the father could only help one blood type, his son can help at least three. We see this when the son helps three members of UA at different points in the film, all who have different blood types. The issue with this is that we have no explanation. We know from Nine that it has to be Type-A compatible to cure himself, but instead, the son just happens to be able to do what the dad can; only a lot better than his dad.

During act 2, the film sees the villains land on the island and Various UA members fight back, except we barely get any interactions from Mummy or Slice, as they’re sidelined for the sake of Chimera and Nine. Instead, Mummy is quickly defeated by Bakugo, while Slice makes very few appearances, only to fight at the end of the film. Her existence is minimal and her powers are only truly showcased by the final fight. Instead, this film focuses more on Nine and his ally, Chimera. We even get a short segment with Chimera’s backstory and reason for joining. What we don’t get is why Slice or Mummy join. This film again sidelines those two characters, making their existence in the film almost useless.

By the third act, we see the remaining villains make a last push for the son while UA fights back, during which, Uraraka and Sero manage to split the three members. When Slice is sent to a cavern, we see Mina waiting, but she adds almost nothing to the fight and instead the bulk is just Tokogami vs Slice. While Mina helps at first, most of the fight looks like it could’ve been handled without her, so why is some villain that’s supposed to be strong, easily handled by one student. This made no sense to me, and we see Slice just take herself out with Tokogami. This felt like a lot of wasted use of characters.

During another instance in the third act, we see a team-up against Chimera that was better done than Slice, because all students played a part in the teamwork, instead of wasting students on a sidelined villain. The film put heavy emphasis on Chimera and Nine’s fights, due to the students on the teams as well. Popular characters: Tsuyu, Lida, Kirishima and Todoroki all fought against Chimera, whereas Slice only dealt with two students. This showed a bias and clear emphasis on only catering to two fights by stacking the teams against only two of the villains. Since Slice had barely any screentime, it was clear that the studio felt she only deserved to have two people fight her. Whereas the scene against Chimera was grandiose and showcased the full power of each students abilities.

After Chimera’s defeat, the film focuses more on Nine’s fight against Deku and Bakugo, giving us a round two moment; after the three fought and ended in a draw, earlier in the film. During this final fight, we see everyone showcase their powers, only to have something weird happen; Deku uses full cowl at 100% but his arms are still fine afterwards, that he manages to do the same thing repeatedly. Instead of the injuries he suffers prior, we see him use 100% multiple times, after announcing early in the film that he can only use 20%. While he uses 100% in the show, this film goes Plus Ultra and gets to the point where it no longer makes sense.

Also during this fight, we see Deku pass on his powers to Bakugo who immediately manages to also use it at 100% without prior training. This didn’t make sense as Bakugo’s powers are different so the training required to use skills that Deku can shouldn’t have been able to happen instantly. We also see that even with Deku’s injuries, he’s able to continuously use his powers at the full potential, without suffering injuries to his arms. When he injured himself multiple times during villain fights, Recovery Girl had mentioned Deku being unable to use his abilities should this happen again in the early seasons. Now we have a film were Deku uses more of his power than he is capable of, and not suffering any injury? We also see Deku mention that Bakugo has his powers now and Deku can no longer be a hero, and yet the film sets up lore that the transfer of power never completed to Bakugo, so Deku still has his powers. This felt like a plot convenience moment as they only needed Bakugo to also use Deku’s powers at 100% without training, so that the two could win.

Having sidelined heroes and villains alike, while leaving powers and backstories unexplained and adding convenient plot devices, this movie was worse than the first film. At surface level, it had good emotional elements to it and fun fights, but it didn’t follow the rules set up in its own world.

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