Metropia takes place in Europe 2024; a bleak future where all of Europe is linked and dominated by train lines owned by The Trexx Group. For some reason, despite trains being the sole (legal) source of commute, their carriages are far from full, and the streets are barren.
An ordinary man named Roger, in his ordinary job, comes home to his ordinary flat and his slightly-less-ordinary girlfriend Anna. Due to paranoia, he prefers to cycle instead of taking the subway. As usual, this sort of premonition is proven right when his bicycle is damaged and he’s forced to take a train.
The story from here on is not worth shouting about; it starts off wide open and bottlenecks somewhere around the middle of the film, culminating in a weak (but not senseless) ending. He meets a hot girl named Nina, there’s some mind-controlling shampoo involved and a Hello Kitty doll is a major part of the film’s conclusion. I still don’t know why certain scenes were included – in particular, when Roger and Nina visit a “Hotel Amore” in Paris midway through their ‘mission’, doing nothing but slowing an already slow-paced piece.
Silliness of the story aside, the animation is amazing, in a way that’s both startling and creepy, and the one thing that’s going to keep you in your seat the entire way. Characters look like walking bobble-heads, and you can pretty much see which of them hold the soft spots of the animation team through the amounts of detail involved. My personal fave is Anna, and judging by her hair, tattoos and body detail in her limited scenes, I’m sure the animators lean quite a bit towards her too. Landscapes, too, were well-crafted and exquisite, and spot-on for this dystopian setting. I later learned that this animation style was an ingenious, industrious mix of Photoshop and After Effects developed by director Tarik Saleh for the film. I don’t think I can appreciate most of Pixar’s works the same way again.
Director: Tarik Saleh
Producer: Kristina Aberg
Screenwriters: Tarik Saleh, Stig Larsson & Fredrik Edin
Starring: Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis