With Bayonetta 2 just days away from release here in the US, there are probably more than a few fans of the original that could do with a refresher of the story so far. Enter Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, a 90 minute recap of the events of the first game. While many players will be happy to be able to watch this comparatively brief film rather than play through the game again, in many ways the film fails to convey the thing the made the story special. It is especially worrisome for those new to the series who are viewing this as an introduction and stepping stone to Bayonetta 2. Bloody Fate is a rushed retelling of a story that that is served no justice in this film.

The film starts off well enough with Bayonetta donning her nun uniform as she is descended upon by angels that don’t yet realize the mistake they are making. A flashy battle worthy of the game ensues. Things are all well and good as characters are introduced and the pacing seems appropriate. Unfortunately, the beginning 30 minutes are not a reflection of the remainder of the film which becomes a rapid fire series of events that cuts through hours of the game at a time to fit far too much content into just 60 minutes. Major events like Cezera, Bayonetta regaining her memory, and the resurrection of the god of creation are poorly represented. There is little to no development for most characters and major story events feel glossed over just to set up the ending, which itself is a rushed mess that barely resembles anything from the game.

Bayonetta maintains all her charm and grace from the game.

Bayonetta maintains all her charm and grace from the game.

Of course I understand that fitting a 12 plus hour game into a 90 minute film is difficult and that they can’t possibly touch on everything. However, when they manage to fit in several of the game’s boss fights, albeit in 2 minute segments, more time could have been used to expand on the plot. Speaking of boss fights, while the combat is well portrayed overall in the film, many of these combat sequences seem rushed and feel like a wasted opportunity to highlight one of the game’s defining features. The main point here is that the film feels restricted by the 90 minute run time. An extra 30 minutes could have done wonders for pacing and for expanding many plot points.

It is worth noting that the animation itself is especially impressive. Fights are portrayed in an appropriately epic fashion and the various nuances of characters are well portrayed. The art style is brought to life and the characters themselves are immediately identifiable by fans. There is nothing lost in translation as the game becomes anime. It is also a benefit that most of the original cast members reprise their roles in the film and deliver comparable performances to their in-game roles. Hellena Taylor once again takes the cake delivering an excellent performance. The remainder of the cast once again sounds like the remainder of the cast. No one gives a bad performance, but it is probably one more akin to an anime dub, fitting I suppose. Of course the new Japanese cast is also available, the same cast being used for Bayonetta 2 so those who favor subs can get a taste of what’s to come

Even she is shocked that this movie is as poorly paced as it is.

Even she is shocked that this movie is as poorly paced as it is.

Bloody Fate, as poorly paced as it is, is not an entirely awful film. It serves it’s basic purpose, but does so without actually fulfilling it. This is not. In any way, a reasonable alternative to playing through the original. Play the game, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t. What it does do is act as a reminder to fans of what took place to lead up to the sequel. Should you play through again? Probably, but if you are like me and just itching to get your hands on the sequel, this could be an excuse to just jump right in. This is truly for fans and not something Easily recommended to those who have not actually played Bayonetta.



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