Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's DoorType: Movie
Genre: Sci-Fi / Action
Vintage: 2001

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 27 Jul 2006

Grade: B

For what amounts to a two hour long episode, the Cowboy Bebop movie shows that the series can work in a longer format.

Plot Summary
As Spike, Jet, and Faye (with help from Ed and Ein, of course) continue their endless pursuit of nabbing bounties, one particular bounty brings them into a case much larger than they could have expected.

The Review
There are movies based on a series that are sequels. There are movies based on a series that are alternate tellings. The Cowboy Bebop movie is neither. The events in the long-form version of Cowboy Bebop actually take place between the 22nd and 23rd episodes of the series. So, for everyone out there who watches movies in their proper chronological place in a series, pop this movie in your DVD player after volume 5 is over, and before you start volume 6.

The way the movie flows, it comes across as an extended episode of the series. With two hours to work with instead of twenty-five minutes, the pace can be slowed down, and more details are brought into the story. It’s a standalone story, so there are characters not found in the series, but this is the norm for Cowboy Bebop, which is a fairly episodic series anyway with few recurring characters. With the movie format, things get a little more intense than in the series. Of particular note is a sequence near the end of the film which is nearly non-stop action, from a space-fighter chase to Spike going all out martial arts style.

Along with being a good side story for the series, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door stands on its own as a pretty good science fiction and action piece. It’s not a movie that’s going to set the world on fire or challenge you on an intellectual level, but it makes for a fine adventure.

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