Eva 3.0: You Cannot (Re)Do
Hm. I see the beef peeps have with it. There's less action than 2.0 is a bit of a loss, but I can put that aside (for now).
I think what I didn't like was a lack of growth in the characters. For one: The main cast is pretty pissy at Shinji, but it's hard to place their anger when you get a vague understanding of why; and this is made worse by the fact they're mad for something he didn't mean to do. But, 14 years of living in pissy and shitty world due to one stubborn and childish boy may do that to you -- but I might just be making up excuses for them here, because it's not explained in the movie. But I think what really annoyed me was Shinji himself who seems to enjoy playing the role of an "unlikable character"; and this time he's playing out what's basically the question of "what's inside Pandora's box?" (and SPOILER...it ain't good!).
I also hate the fact the revelations in the film are nothing new *. The big reveal about who Rei is a clone of is "revealed again" but in a different manner. Despite Mari's strong debut, she's put on the back burner, literally playing support for Asuka 90% of the time. Meanwhile, Asuka's mad all the time but in good spirits about fighting, and her foil, Rei, gives new meaning to "the silent treatment" by never being able to answer a fucking question even when you look her in the eyes (to counter this, she's actually "nicer" than previous Rei incarnations). Gendo is still in one of two poses he's ever been drawn in (sitting and leaning with his fingers crossed), being mysterious, using his son (which reinforces Shinji's feelings of worthlessness and that he's become a self-fulfilling prophecy to), and missing his wife and trying to get her back (while ignoring his one and only son... ... ... clearly Shinji was an unintended pregnancy by this point, or even his own father doesn't like the man Shinji is becoming like the rest of the audience is).
The film is brilliantly animated and brilliantly scored (giving Ghibli a run for its money in both categories), but the lack of answers and lack of progress despite the 14 year time jump leave a lot more to be desired.
On the bright, Kaoru plays the most amusing and fascinatingly (short-lived) anime character that's been seen in a long time. His ambiguously homosexual nature serves as one of the greatest supports a weak character like Shinji could ask for. The relationship doesn't feel forced because Shinji is so fucked up; it's realistic in that just having anyone so kind, intimate, and understanding would probably make anyone blush. I've always loved the question of whether his... um, at times over-the-top friendliness (i.e.; borderline homosexual undertones) were genuine or merely a means to an end. The relationship played out differently here, and so do the means by which it progresses -- but the outcome is the same, and again the revelations vaguely explained.
It's hard to really decide what to make of the film; it's good but doesn't really try to do much with it despite the opportunity for doing so. Regardless, Eva 2.0 was easily a stronger film as a whole. I look forward to the final film and hope for a Happy Eva End to what is seriously the most big-ball-of-sad version of Earth to ever survive the Apocalypse.
*or maybe it's just been too long since I really bit into the series to really understand it (I really couldn't understand that plot any more than "THIRD IMPACT IS BAD AND WILL FUCK UP EARTH EVEN MORE THAN IT ALREADY IS IF IT HAPPENS").