Patlabor: The Mobile Police (1989) – 5/10 mecha police anime movie review

Cast / crew
Writer (Original Concept): Yuuki Masami
Writer (Screenplay): Kazunori Ito
Producer: Shin Unozawa
Producer: Taro Maki
Producer: Makoto Kubo
Director: Mamoru Oshii

Patlabor: Mobile Police, The

Patlabor: Movie, The (1989)

Labor’s – giant mechanical exoskeletons – are in widespread use, especially in the construction industry making skyscrapers and artificial islands. However, recently, some Labor’s have been malfunctioning without any obvious reason but a young detective discovers that every one of them were running the same new Hyper Operating System from a single company.


A plot that isn’t quite intriguing and that is never sufficiently explained is exposed by a lack of interesting characters, technology or action. Why the villain kills himself at the beginning is never made clear and quite how the heroes dismantling the Ark during the climax makes sense is also beyond me (the villain was trying to destroy the Ark, we’ll stop him by destroying it ourselves, hah!). Oshii directs with his usual flat style but the trademark commendable time he takes with his characters and plot, as usual, don’t amount to anything.

This movie contains bad language and mild mecha violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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