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on April 28, 2003
The first time I saw this DVD sequel to one of the best animes of the '90's on the shelves, I was skeptical. When I saw that Juliette Lewis was doing the voice for super-sexy robot ...Naomi Armitage, my feelings were mixed, knowing her to be a competent actress with a sexier voice than Elizabeth Berkeley (and certainly sexier on screen). When I finally watched it...I was disappointed. And yet...I watched it again, and I liked it a little more, despite the flaws.
As a sequel, it's pretty standard. It acknowledges the events of the first movie (except of course for the funny plot hole of why nobody on Mars recognizes Ross or Armitage when they figured to be such prominent characters in a government conspiracy in the original). The sequel expands (not answers, but expands) on certain questions from the first, like how does a robot have the ability to conceive human children? The action is pretty good, almost as good as the original, and it wrap things up nicely in the end.
The major flaws with this sequel are inherent in the animation. It's just not nearly as good. The animators went a little overboard with the use of CGI for some of the vehicular chase scenes (which were pretty cool, but obviously out of place with the rest of the animation). The panning is far less smooth than in the original, probably another result of CGI...it just doesn't look the same. The character design is updated slightly to give a sense that the characters have matured slightly. The backgrounds and setting aren't all that great either, but...it is mostly on Earth, not Mars. Maybe they just didn't want to go too far with it. There's also a problem in the plot, which is almost a direct rehash of the original, only instead of the government being behind it, it's the big robot-producing corporations that have a lot to lose if robots are allowed to be treated as human. Politics come into play a little more this time around, but that hardly helps the case the plot is pretty much the same. Also, the cliched plot devices of taking the child hostage and of a mother protecting her child is played out in perfect form here. Armitage could take out an entire army to protect her child...and she pretty much does (well...two ultra violent clones of herself, which is pretty much the equivalent of an army...and those clones laugh way too much, you just wanna bash their heads in).
The pros of this movie are that in spite of these little details, it's still a far better sequel than most Hollywood sequels attempt to be. As I said, the action is really good. The extended fight between Armitage and Ross and her two clones is pretty good, especially considering that the clones are more than just programmed soldiers...they seem to have a sadistic side, laughing almost every time they think they're about to kill someone...which was annoying, but it does helping you to hate them. The additional characters like the daughter Yoko and Mouse the Repairman are pretty enjoyable too. Yoko plays out like a typical kid in anime movies, but she's far less annoying than you'd expect. The little twist near the end when we see what makes her more than just an ordinary human is well integrated, especially after the villian made a big deal about not finding anything special about her. Mouse is just funny. The music by Julian Mack is different...still electronic-based, but more orchestral elements are introduced, and the presence of a female voice in the theme is rather interesting.
All-in-all, the sequel did what it sought out to do, and while it's certainly not as good as the original, it does at least hold a candle. I hated it at first, but the more I watch it, the more I enjoy it, and the more I feel it's actually a pretty good sequel. This is just my opinion, so feel free to disagree, but I think "Armitage: Dual-Matrix" is pretty good.
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on October 2, 2002
The original Armitage series (not the hacked to pieces Poly Matrix movie version) was a work of art. A gritty cyberpunk thriller raising serious questions about the future of our society when technoloy loves, hates and fears. This sequel is almost unconnected. The characters of Ross and Armitage have become all but manequins, Ross stumbles around with nothing much to do, his police background is all but forgotten and there even seems to be no mention that he has an artifitical arm and leg, as his same hand gets injured.
Armitage, a very strong and quite deep character has been rendered one dimensional, running around avoiding robots of different shapes and sizes, her motivation in the whole plot is shallow and unintersting.
A weak plot and script can sometimes be saved by good animation and design, but Armitage Dual-Matrix just looks uninspired, CGI is used throughout and sticks out like a sore thumb, looking out of place and [inexpensive]. The characters themselves don't look quite right, Armitage seems to have bizarre lip growth most of the time and she's just lost her charm and grace.
The dubbing is OK, though Juliette Lewis gives a wooden performance as Armitage (and you thought Elizabeth Berkley [was bad]?The original OVA voice was better than both movie versions. Japanese vocal is far superior.
If you want cyberpunk anime, pick up the original series (now available on DVD) and avoid this cliche.
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on June 24, 2002
I am going to try to calmly write a review with ideas in neatly arranged in some sort of order.
1st- acting... I feel very sorry for the voice actors in this movie. Not that they were bad or anything, but pioneer didn't keep one voice actor the same, despite several characters that appear in the same movie. That means that the actors not only had to live up to the japanese for subbies, but also to the old english ones for dubbies. Juliete Lewis does quite the job. Her voice is lower and rougher than Elizabeth Berkley's and her acting was quite good. She give as much heart and soul as Elizabeth Berkley and she obviously had fun doing it. Skip Stellrecht tried his best with Ross, and had a very hard time keeping his voice low. He tried to match Kiefer Sutherlands, and he almost had me fooled sometimes. Being a dubbie, I thought he was a little too...act-y for Ross, because I was used to Kiefer Sutherland's crude and flat Ross. Yoko... oh boy, when I found out that rebecca fordstadt (mihoshi, tenchi muyo) was doing her voice, I was scared, then, upon seeing her performance, was quite pleased. Her crying was a touch odd, but was her voice, not her acting. Demitrio, michael mcconnohie was mediocre at best, sometime underacted, sometimes over acted, and sometimes right on, but nothing too special for a bad guy voice. Mouse was played by the guy who does the voice for jar jar binks, ahmed best, and that scared me worse than the mihoshi thing, but again, I was pleasantly surprised. Very good, very wacky! Strings... nothing too much here, just a flat military character. As for Julian... Mona Marshall, all I can say to you is nice job not sounding like Izzy from DIgimon. Music was GREAT!!! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! Kudo's to Julian Mack. Visuals... nice animation, very smooth, a little much on the computer, but still blended quite nicely. Character designs were very true to the original. Now the story of coursr, is the ultimate test. You can't expect another Armitage III: Poly Matrix, you ahve to accept that it's a different kind of story, and I think the director is different too. The action was very apparent, but hey if you're an armitage fan, you love that kick bum stuff! ^.^ The story didn't lose heart though, and explained some more of the politics that were left to crumble in the first movie. It had a different feel to it, but it was still a good story. I'm not very picky about DVD set ups or special features, I was just kind of like oo, fancy interviews and trailer... the most I can is that it was a very spiffy user friendly set up. Besides a few random ... shots, the language and violence were no worse than the first, so maybe a PG-13. Not too much comedy, except the random please (?) don't touch on the second's but and the kick in the balls that the bad guy deserves... I enjoyed this movie, and I hope you will find this review helpful and enjoy the movie youreself!!
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on April 2, 2013
I enjoyed the sequel to the Armitage III OVA. Six years have passed since living under false identies on Mars. Former Detective Sylibus is now a security guard at a robot company. He has married his former partner Armitage and is now a father with a six year old girl. I did wonder in the age of biometrics, how they were able to evade being discovered by Martian authorities (child's birth, employment questions etc.) while on the run. There is a company on Earth that is starting up the Third project again, when they are wiped out under a government assualt. Armitage on Mars, receives their death signals and slips away from the house to go to Earth without telling her family members. I found this cold and impersonal since Thirds are suppose to have emotions. The story mainly focuses on Armitage as she uncovers the conspiracy of the private corporation trying to steal the secret of the Thirds reproductive abilites. The graphics are alright, fight scenes good, scientific priciples interesting and story line intricate. I don't think you'll be disappointed in the purchase of this DVD. Our society is moving towards AI in machines ("Big Blue" etc.), nano technolgy, cloning etc. so I see these things happening one day.
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on October 31, 2002
Take a good look at the cover of the ARMITAGE-DUAL MATRIX DVD, for this is what the animation is like: Animation that many people like, and many people hate (this applies to the regular DVD version; where I rent, the store doesn't carry the special edition, but this doesn't change anything I have said, although the cover is different, and looks a little better on the special edition). Some think it looks "inexpensive," has slipped back to older, poor-quality animation. Some think it is wonderful. Some think that the dubbing by Juliette Lewis is bad. In my neighborhood, I haven't talked to one person -- so far -- that doesn't think the animation is fantastic, as is Juliette Lewis. Most agree the story line is weak, but some think it is great all the way around. So, what is going on here?

The people who made the film made an artistic decision that not everyone likes; they took a risk. In some ways, they -- in the CG World -- would be considered minimalists: Instead of flashy, bright colors, they chose to use colors -- especially on the characters -- that are very soft, but richness in colors is still there. The colors are such that at times it is very similar to turning the color down on your TV. But there is a smoothness and evenness throughout. Some of the buildings and structures and the night scenes of the city are breathtaking. There is a flatness similar to what could be achieved by hand, but still obvious that CG was used. Some scenes look like paintings. But three-dimensional-CG approach is there as well. Yes, some of the scenes are very dark-to the point where you can barely tell what is going on. In one of the scenes, you can't see anything at all. This obviously was intentional. When you see Armitage later, she looks as if she is barely holding it together, but determined to protect her family, especially her daughter, if it kills her. There were some complaints about things being left out. There wasn't suppose to be any reference to Armitage's husband being a former police officer -- but it is there, in the scene where he steals the car and says he is a police officer, with a hesitation and adding "former police officer." So, with some seeing the same things as good/bad, what is one suppose to do? Rent. That's what I did. I found the movie difficult to watch, and difficult to follow (a lot of work). I like it. Not enough to buy at this point. But it pointed me to the reviews, which pointed me to the OVA, which is to be released soon, which I plan to buy. Possibly, after that, depending on how much I like the OVA, I might buy ARMITAGAE-DUAL MATARIX (SPECIAL EDITION).
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on April 10, 2013
I liked this. I wasn't familiar with the Armitage franchise at all. The animation is good - I would say above average, like Macross Plus. The story is actually cool and I cared about the characters. And I like the futuristic sci-fi stuff.

I don't know how this rates compared to the original show, but on its own it's real good and I enjoyed it a lot. It comes with the feature and a little documentary with interviews.
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on September 18, 2002
My review will seperate the two titles.
Poly Matrix:
Our first movie to this double feature takes place on Mars. A detective from Earth named Ross Sylabus comes to Mars to help out with the police force and gets his first assignment the moment he gets off the plane. He also meets his partner, a sexy punk-girl named Armitage. The story centers around the war between human and robot rights for specific robots called seconds or thirds. However, Ross and Armitage have no idea what they're getting into.
The movie is pretty good considering it was condensed from 4 OAV episodes and made into a movie for an American release. Elizabeth Berkley (Showgirls) and Kiefer Sutherland (24 TV series) do a good job, but they sound more depressed and robotic, for better or worse. Extras include two text interviews and a trailer. Overall, the animation is great, the action solid, the music smooth and the story is stellar. Recommended.
Dual Matrix:
Years after Armitage and Ross get married, they have a child and name her Yoko. But all is still not right in the universe. A new law is being past for robot laws, but an edgy scientist doesn't want to risk anything on this law so he kidnaps Ross's daughter. And with two Thirds under his belt, he won't be taken lightly.
The animation, when compared to the last movie, is incredible. Most of the CG reminds me of Sol Bianica. In fact, the shuttle at the end of the movie looks almost exactly like the ship from Sol Bianica. The new voice actor for Armitage (Juliette Lewis) does a good job and maintains Armitage's attitude. However, Ross sounds a bit too upbeat in this film. Another thing worth noting is that the actor of Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars does the voice of Mouse. He tends to go into Jar Jar mode a few times, but he speaks way less babble than he did in Star Wars.
The music has been also been beefed up as well. There is some real nice guitar for the action scenes which I beleive does more justice to the film. The extras include a behind the scenes look at the making of Dual Matrix, three clean songs, trailer, production designs and Pioneer previews.
Overall, I enjoyed Dual Matrix. It's an action movie with soul. And if thats what you like, by all means, buy this now.
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What on the surface appears to be a political conflict between the Martian colony and the terrestrial parent government turns out to be an corporate economic struggle over the ability to make robots, and the rights that near human (or better) intelligences deserve to have. Demitrio Mardini, of Earth Robotronics has devised a plan to use third generation cyborgs as breeding vessels for enslavable humans. His ruthless plot puts one of the thirds, Naomi Armitage, her husband Ross Sylibus and their daughter Yoko square in his sights.
This is a pure techno-thriller. Mardini kidnaps Yoko to force Ross to vote against the robot rights bill, and pry the secret of the thirds' ability to procreate from Naomi. The couple fights back with everything they have, culminating with a series of tightly choreographed fights between Naomi and several of her evil twins. In addition to the primary plot, the nature of being human is an important subtext, which finally reveals itself to be the primary theme. It takes a robot to teach a human about love.
How much you like this feature may depend on how familiar you are with previous Armitage stories. On its own, it is an interesting story with good artwork and animation. Technology, of course, is ever present, but it doesn't overwhelm the more human aspects of the story. Yoko's active role keeps centering the story back on its core values. But the film is a bit flat and two dimensional when compared to previous Armitage efforts. My guess is that long time fans will be less satisfied than newcomers will be. Actually, the film relies very little on its precedents, so it is a good starting point. I liked it, although it didn't blow me away - 'Dual Matrix' is certainly worth a look.
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on October 1, 2014
With the original OVA series being a cyberpunk smash, and the theatrically-released compilation movie(Poly-Matrix)making some waves with its "star talent", it was inevitable that a sequal would get made. This time, Armitage III is made into a legitimate full-length movie in Dual-Matrix. Although this film had an almost totally different production crew behind it.

Taking place about four years where the original OVA/movie left off, Armitage and Ross Sylibus have new identities on Mars and managed to have a daughter, despite the fact that Armitage is an android. Armitage receives a transmission of illegally-created Thirds being slaughtered in a military installation on Earth. Armitage heads to the blue planet ton confront the assault teams military commander, but it turns out he was secretly under orders of the slimy robotics executive, Demetrio. Ross on the other hand stopped an attack on a power plant in his new identity as a security officer on Mars, and gets roped into being a speaker for the Martian government for a new robotics bill being passed on Earth. Armitage meanwhile is being helped by an underground robot repairman named Mouse, who first sells out some of Armitage's secrets to Demetrio, but then vows to help Armitage after getting beaten up by his personal Armitage clones. Demetrio kidnaps Armitage's daughter Yoko in order to force the secret of robot reproduction out of her, so she and Ross reunite to rescue her. This follows a rather lengthy chase that leads to the family finally coming back together, and defeating Demetrio, partially achieved with some help from Armitage's "brother" Pluto.

Dual-Matrix was a fitting follow-up to the OVA, although maybe not to Poly-Matrix. Actress Juliette Lewis steps in to do the voice of Armitage this time, and possibly the best one so far, plus Ahmed Best(aka: Jar Jar Binks)actually does a serviceable job as Mouse. The animation has that cell-shaded turn of the century style to it a lot of anime did at the time like the original Appleseed CGI movie, but still holds up pretty well. It's probably better off being bought in the special 2-disc collector's set they did of both movies instead of the single DVD release.
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on July 12, 2002
I actually wandered one day into my local Best Buy and saw that this double-disc set was on sale, so I decided to take a risk and buy something I had never heard of before. After having watched Poly Matrix, I was completely satisfied and eager to watch the 2nd film... Armitage is a character that many people i'm sure can relate to; she often feels rejected and hated just because she is different and doesn't fit into the societal norm. The story itself keeps the viewer interested and moves quickly in order to keep everything flowing. Now the 4-star i'm giving Armitage doesn't necessarily mean it's not "great." I consider the almighty 5-star to be near impossible to acquire mainly because I don't think there's a perfect anything. Anyways, yes, buy this and enjoy it; you won't be sorry :)
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