"Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos."
Hiromu Arakawa's popular Japanese manga/anime franchise "Fullmetal Alchemist" — about a pair of brothers in a parallel universe and their otherworldly adventures — gets a second animated movie version with "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos."
Directed by Kazuya Murata, it's a typically outlandish tale, dropping young Edward and Alphonse Elric — whose emotional dabblings in the sorcerer arts have tragically rendered them freakish yet soulful hybrids of human-ness and metal — into a territorial dispute between an enslaved valley population and an exploitative, militarized city-state.
Outside of the Industrial Age-inspired visuals that occasionally explode with fizzy color when element-altering opponents square off, there's little to appeal to anyone not fully invested in the mythology of this series: the brothers' ongoing search for the philosophers' stone, the political history of warring lands and the consequences of messing around with transmutation. There are beams of ice, wolf chimeras, bat people, hidden cities, and apocalyptic lava flows. There is talk of a Doorway of Truth.
Fans, go be with your people. Others, approach cautiously.
"Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos." Unrated. Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes. At the Downtown Independent, Los Angeles.