Review: One Piece Film – GOLD (Blu-Ray)

Catapult back into the One Piece universe as the Straw Hat Pirates embark on a new adventure at the Grand Lines’ entertainment city, Gran Tesoro. One Piece Film GOLD enters a floating mega Casino where striking it big means your wildest dreams can come true. Drawn in by the neon lights and allure of a Jackpot, The Straw Hats are once again gambling with more than a pocket full of coins. The casinos owner, Gild Tesoro stands atop a golden stage, with everything underneath him existing for his entertainment. The brighter the glittering lights, the longer and darker the shadows, all is not what it seems at this floating paradise.

Luffy, Nami, Zoro, Sanji and the rest of the crew sail Thousand Sunny right into the center stage of Gran Tesoro looking to get lucky in its many casinos and games. Dressed in their traditional movie attire of bizarre costumes, it’s a welcome change for those of us following the manga series. After beating up some disgruntled pirates for the obligatory introduction sequence, they are greeted by Baccarat. She offers the Straw Hats VIP status due to their fame, and complimentary casino chips they can pay back with their winnings. After a tour in the Turtle Car, they split up pretty quickly with their hands full of chips to explore the casino.

After an exciting turtle car race and other gambling wins Luffy is high on luck and confidence. The rest of the crew are also enjoying themselves, blissfully unaware of Baccarats true intentions. It’s not too long before things start to grow sour, and as their debts grow they find out they have been tricked. A ruse played over many times, they have now roped in the Straw Hats to work off their debts at the casino. Clearly unhappy, they fight back and their greatest loss is Zoro being captured by Tesoro. His Devil Fruit gives him the power to control any Gold he touches, which is almost every surface in Gran Tesoro, and tiny gold particles in the customers themselves. With the clock counting down to Zoros execution, Luffy and the crew need to find a way to settle their debts.

Nami’s old acquaintance Carina is working on Gran Tesoro, and helps them devise a grand heist with her inside knowledge. A huge fortune is being kept in a vault at the top of the hotel, and the Straw Hats have their eyes on it. When the plans are set in motion each member has their own special tasks to perform, from scaling buildings and avoiding the Security Systems it’s an interesting way for the Straw Hats to use their skills. The final moments of the heist lead to a double cross and the big battle with Tesoro beings. All the crew split into their own little fights with the Casino staff, which gives each character the time to shine and it keeps it fresh and exciting.

I love a good One Piece movie, and the last few have gotten creative with their animation and action scenes. GOLD is taking it a step further, and the attention to detail in the background is amazing. They have gone above and beyond in this one which is greatly helped along with some CG. The beginning is a glittering wonderland of excitement, action and playfulness. As the reality of Gran Tesoro is revealed the theme slowly degrades into a dull tone further along. Following a similar pattern to previous movies it is all a very familiar layout. From their fun new setting, the first battle is always a loosing one, they re-group then head in for the final explosive boss battle. There is lots of Luffy yelling. Like, LOTS. Which is to be expected whenever he is on screen and being active in general. It does get a bit old after 20 minutes though.

One Piece already has deeply establish main characters, so their growth during movies is limited. One Piece Film Gold has used other means to make it special. We get to see a little adventure from Nami’s past with the Arlong Pirates, and other characters are scattered throughout the casino as easter eggs. Even Absolom is in there. Sabo, Koala, and even the C3PO team make a token appearance. All these things are greatly appreciated by fans, and are what gives the movies a fun kick. Why are they there? WHO CARES! Lucci is going up against Sabo, there doesn’t need to be real reason. In terms of One Piece movies, this one ranks highly in story creativity and setting. The new characters are a little lacking, but it’s difficult to build on several new personas in such a small time span. We do however get a little peek into Tesoros past to provide some sort of ground for his insatiable gold addiction.

The BluRay cover has a nice reversible print, and there are a couple of extras that are worth watching. For fans familiar with the English voice cast, there is a 30 minute clip ‘Place your bets on the Straw Hats’. There are some spoilers so I would recommend watching the movie first. If you are lucky enough to receive a limited edition Poker Chip charm with the Bluray, there are 10 different designs. I got Brook!! Yohohohoho.
If you like anything One Piece, this movie is a must see for fans as it’s a fun and unique new setting.

Radness scale:

A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.