In the year UC 0218, the Earth Federation collapses and is replaced with the Congress of Settlement Nations (CONSENT). In UC 0223, Hydro-Gen underwater rig pilot Mark Curran uses his underwater Guppy suit to harvest the ocean floor. He jokes with a man named Simmons on the radio until an emergency alert is picked up. Simmons detects an object entering the atmosphere and crashing into the ocean. He identifies the object as one of CONSENT’s Bugu mobile suits. The pilot, Tim Holloway, sends out a distress call, and Mark answers. His Guppy is not outfitted for rescues, and sinking below a certain depth will cause implosion. Mark approaches the Bugu and contacts Holloway. He tells Holloway to send out a buoy to call CONSENT, but Holloway says there isn’t time. Mark argues with Holloway and tells him to eject his thrusters and cockpit pod. Holloway does so, and Mark grabs the cockpit pod with his Guppy. He returns to the rig, and Holloway thanks him. A group of CONSENT soldiers led by Jack Halle arrive and take control of the facility. Mark asks Jack, his former commander, what is going on. Jack tells him that intruders have entered the rig, and a search begins. Mark says he doesn’t know where they are, but it is a lie. He heads for a laboratory and tries to open a locked door. Jack arrives with several soldiers and knocks Mark aside. Inside, several people in diving suits run away and are killed by Jack’s soldiers. One of them, a woman named Cynthia Graves, surrenders. Jack orders his men to kill her, but Mark jumps in the way and stops them. Mark has a flashback of being a mobile suit pilot and violating Jack’s orders. He wakes up from the flashback in his apartment with his girlfriend, Mimi Devere.
Mark wants to play around with Mimi, but she tells them they have to get ready for the presidential ball. Mark turns on the news and hears that President Hawke is under pressure to take control of the rebellious colonies at Side Gaea. The news also mentions that Mark caught a Gaean rebel, and that the Hydro-Gen rig has had its security increased. Mark knows that is a lie because he didn’t capture anyone, and the prisoners were unarmed. Mark and Mimi arrive at the party and see Jack talking to President Hawke. Jack advocates taking control of Side Gaea, but the President doesn’t agree. He leaves when General Garneux asks to speak to him. Mark confronts Jack about the news story and asks what is going on. They begin arguing, and Mimi interrupts them. She tells Mark that what he’s doing will interfere with her career plans. Mark then speaks to General Garneux, who asks him to return to CONSENT. Mark says he doesn’t want to, and Garneux asks for a favor. Since Mark is a civilian, Garneux wants him to interrogate Cynthia. He offers to help get Mimi the job she wants if Mark does it. Mark heads down to the security area and convinces the guard to let him in. Mark asks Cynthia several questions, but she ignores him. When he says he isn’t from CONSENT, she tells him she is the chief bio-technical engineer on Gaea. She also says she was working with Hydro-Gen’s Dr. Riva on a project to produce extra food for CONSENT to feed the world’s starving population. She convinces Mark to take her to the lab so she can show him the bioluminescence experiment that would make underwater agriculture viable. After the President’s speech, Garneux tells Jack to keep the Gaean situation under control. Jack goes down to the security area and is told by the guard that Cynthia is in Mark’s custody.
Cynthia prepares to join her sample with Dr. Riva’s to see if the experiment is a success. She mixes the liquid in the two vials, which produces a blinding light. Bioluminescence is a success, and Cynthia wants to take it with her. Mark holds on to the sample so that he can show it to Garneux. As they leave the lab, they are confronted by Jack and two soldiers. Mark tries to show the sample to Jack, and Jack orders his men to shoot them. Cynthia throws a vial of the bioluminescent material on the floor to blind them. Mark and Cynthia run away and hide in a morgue. As Jack and his men close in on them, Mark throws Cynthia down the garbage chute to escape. Afterwards, Jack calls Garneux and tells him that Mark helped Cynthia escape and murdered a guard (whom Jack actually shot). Mark and Cynthia reach the Sturges air base, and he calls Mimi. She tells him that the murder of the guard is all over the news, and she is very angry at him. He says he needs to meet her to get her security pass. Cynthia then introduces Mark to her friends Kobi and Franz Dieter, who were part of the team that infiltrated the Hydro-Gen rig. Mimi arrives with a CONSENT report about bioluminescence and shows it to Mark and Cynthia. Kobi goes off on her own and is nearly crushed by patrolling Bugu suits. They run into a hangar where the new automated MW-Rai mobile suits are stored. They reach a shuttle and prepare for takeoff. Dieter wants to pilot the shuttle, but Cynthia allows Mark to pilot it instead. The shuttle takes off and heads for space. Garneux orders Jack to do whatever is necessary to get the sample back. The shuttle reaches space and heads for the New Manhattan colony at Side 4.
They enter a bar at New Manhattan, and a strange bartender asks them what they want. Mimi asks for a martini, and the bartender reaches for a gun. Cynthia insists that everyone should get a “Phillippe margarita.” Mark is then surprised when his old CONSENT friend Phillippe San Simone approaches him. Phillippe tells him that he is now part of the rebel group Illuminati, which opposes CONSENT’s policies. Mark shows him the bioluminescence sample, and Phillippe is impressed. Mark says he doesn’t want to get involved, and Phillippe shows him the news. Jack holds a press conference at the Hydro-Gen rig and arrests all of Mark’s friends. Phillippe takes Mark to a theater and shows him Illuminati’s new mobile suit, the G-Saviour. Phillippe tells Mark the G-Saviour is ready for him to pilot, but Mark refuses. He says he has done enough already and leaves the room. Mark and the others board the transport Nimbus and head for Side 8 Gaea. Cynthia asks Mark why he left CONSENT, and he explains that if he hadn’t left he would have been court martialed. He said that during a routine battle practice, a friend’s mobile suit was injured. Mark wanted to rescue him, but Jack ordered him not to so that he wouldn’t damage his suit. Mark violated orders, but he was unable to rescue the pilot. The Nimbus rocks from impact as it passes through Side 4’s shoal zone. Dieter wants to take the G-Saviour out to clear a path, but Mark says he will instead. He takes the G-Saviour out and goes ahead of the Nimbus to clear away colony and ship debris using his beam saber and beam rifle. After arriving at Gaea, Kobi shows Mimi to a room, and Cynthia asks Mark for help. She takes him to meet Councilor Graves, her father and the leader of Gaea. Councilor Graves disagrees with her reckless actions, which got one man killed. CONSENT has now sent a destroyer to Gaea to demand the turnover of Mark, Cynthia and the sample.
Mark and Cynthia walk through a garden and talk about her father. She says she wants to thank Mark for his help and shakes his hand. Instead of shaking hands, they kiss. Mimi watches them kiss while hiding behind a tree. Later, she hacks into Gaea’s defense systems and uses them to fire at the CONSENT destroyer Ulysses that is nearby. Mark urges Graves to surrender, and Cynthia says they never will. She asks Mark to lead their squadron of mobile suits, but he refuses. Out in space, Garneux orders Jack to send out the MW-Rais. Mark tells Mimi he wants her on a shuttle out of Gaea, and he sees on her computer that she was the hacker. He accuses her of selling out the Gaeans for her own political gain, and she says it’s not like that. He leaves the room in anger and locks her in. As Dieter and the other Gaeans prepare to launch in their Freedom mobile suits, Mark changes his mind. He orders them to divide into four squads and sends them out to fight the MW-Rais. The battle outside Gaea begins, and the automated MW-Rais have the advantage and destroy many of the Freedom suits. Dieter’s suit is seriously damaged, and he retreats. Garneux orders Jack to go into battle with a standard MS-Rai. Mimi breaks out of her room by crawling through the roof and runs away. Mark decides to go out into the battle and gets into the G-Saviour. Garneux’s forces land in Gaea, and Mimi says she will take him to the sample. Mark destroys several MW-Rais until he encounters Jack’s MS-Rai.
Mark moves in to rescue Dieter on one of Gaea’s solar panels when Jack attacks him with a beam saber. Mark tries to shoot him, but Jack destroys his beam rifle. He pulls out his beam saber and begins fending off Jack’s attacks. Inside Gaea, Garneux takes Graves prisoner and asks for the sample. Graves knocks away a guard who grabs him, and he gets knocked down. Several Bugus invade Gaea and begin destroying buildings. As Cynthia and Kobi run away, they are trapped by Mimi and Garneux. Cynthia is about to hand over the sample to Garneux when Kobi grabs it and runs off. Garneux’s men shoot her, and Mimi takes the sample. Mark continues fighting with Jack and knocks down his MS-Rai. Jack fires his vulcans and knocks down Mark. Mark tries to get up, but the G-Saviour’s hand is caught in the damaged solar panel. Mark breaks free by ejecting the G-Saviour’s forearm armor and slices at the MS-Rai, crippling it. Jack asks Mark to finish him off, but Mark says he’d prefer to see him court-martialed. Several MW-Rais attack Mark, but he is saved by Phillippe’s I-Saviour. Phillippe tells him to go inside Gaea and fight off the Bugus. As Garneux leaves, Mimi gives the sample to Cynthia and apologizes. The G-Saviour is converted from Space Mode to Terrain Mode, and Mark fights off the attacking Bugus. Garneux decides to leave in the Nimbus to slip away unnoticed. He asks Mimi for the sample, but she reveals she betrayed him. Several MW-Rais identify the Nimbus as an enemy and destroy it. Later, Councilor Graves gives a patriotic speech about their battle and the fight against famine, saying that this will be remembered as Gaea’s finest moment. Mark tells Cynthia he is going back to Earth to prove his innocence in the murder of the guard. He asks her to come with him and continue her research, and she agrees.
So there is Bandai’s big experiment, the first live action Gundam movie. Does it live up to the standard of previous Gundam productions? It most certainly does not. This 90 minute movie is probably the weakest Gundam product ever produced. Since this is mostly a Canadian production, it features extremely clichéd Hollywood-style writing. Writers Mark Amato and Stephanie Pena-Sy seems to have no knowledge of how Gundam works, as this movie doesn’t follow the Gundam tradition: it doesn’t have any compelling characters, and the plot is extremely thin and slow-moving. The CONSENT government is nothing but a stand-in for the Titans, and Illuminati is the rebel stand-in for the AEUG and League Militaire. The movie doesn’t make any reference to previous Gundam history or even mention the word Gundam (though this is the least of the movie’s problems). Also, technology seems to have de-evolved, as the mobile suits here look like they came from the One Year War. The only post-Victory Gundam touch is the G-Saviour’s beam shield. Then there’s the acting, which is quite weak as a whole. Brennan Elliott is decent as Mark Curran, but he’s certainly not very heroic. The best performance is probably Enuka Okuma as Cynthia Graves. On a side note, she also played the dub voice of Lady Une in Gundam Wing. Speaking of which, it does seem that Garneux’s death was a direct rip-off of Duke Dermail’s death with the MW-Rais destroying his shuttle. Finally, the production values here are quite low. Aside from everything looking dated, CONSENT troops use the same costumes as the soldiers from the 1997 Starship Troopers movie. The CGI effects are decent, but they are quite slow moving. It would have been better if they were more natural and fluid like the CGI seen in Babylon 5. Overall, this is a poorly made movie.