Full Metal Alchemist (2017) (Blu-ray release 2018-4-18) is a live action adaptation of a manga. The Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009) anime adaptation is awesome. The story starts with two alchemists who were still children. When their mother died, they attempted the forbidden human transmutation alchemy to resurrect her. This became a disaster. Not only did they fail to resurrect her, the elder brother lost his leg and found that the little brother disappeared. He sacrificed his arm to recover the soul of the brother and attached that to a hollow armor. He blames himself for the incident, joins the army in order to find a philosopher’s stone, which can hopefully be used to recover the body of his brother.
The story became an instant classic because it was so original. As if beginning with the death of a mother, the failed resurrection resulting in a monster, the loss of arm, leg, and body by the protagonists are not dark enough, shockingly darker elements lie ahead in the story.
While I think everybody should watch the anime (the 2009 version, not the 2003 version), I consider the live action movie to be fine enough to show the essence of the story. Being aware that one cannot tell a 64-episode story in two movies, I am not disappointed by the movie. I am impressed by the shooting locations in Italy – they match the story well and are gorgeous. I think the climax can be better, it is probably less exciting than the opening sequence. The subplot with the two brothers arguing is worthless and should be cut entirely. I hoped to see the revelation of the huge conspiracy, but it is only hinted at, and will not be resolved until the sequel to this movie.
Note: There is a post-credits scene.