That's a mouthful.
Taking place 2 years after the show, Gundam 00 the movie centers around a hostile alien species that have emerged from Jupiter ahead of schedule. The unprepared people of Earth must band together in order to save the planet.
Since the end of season 2, the Earth has been relatively peaceful. Everyone's too afraid to break out into war because of Celestial Being, a group of Gundam pilots whose mission is to intervene in acts of warfare.
However, as a large abandoned exploration vessel nears Earth, danger, as well as another plot point, arises. Mixing in some X-Men into this mecha, the next evolution of man, named "Innovators," have entered the military. The first of which hels destroy this threat to Earth.
However, things get quickly out of hand, as it so happens a metallic alien race called the "Else," was aboard that ship, wrecking havoc on the planet below. Attracted to humans who emit quantum brain waves (those who are, or will become Innovators) attract the Else, as the Else seek to absorb them into their own metalloid bodies, which unfortunately kills said innovators.
Minor characters such as Saji and Louise (who we find bed-ridden in a hospital) return, as their friends in Celestial Being are currently preoccupied with their first armed interventions in a long while. Meanwhile, the Else menace grows in strength, preparing an all-out assault on the Earth.
Soon, the Federation, former opponents of Celestial Being, actually saves them from an Else encounter, and from then on humanity merges into one fighting force against the Else, which is exactly what Mr. Makimoto, Celestial Being's founder, wanted; human Unity. It only took near extinction to make that a thing!
Yes, the action is extremely good. This is Sunrise at their best. Given many battles of a ginormous scale with many, many minor characters at their disposal, Sunrise outdoes themselves.
Though the story might not be the most original, Gundam 00 the Movie uses all of its story elements so well that despite the fact its genericies, such as Setsuna's vital recovery, you really get a sense of genuine doubt whether or not mankind can win this fight. Remember, Gundam is a very ballsy series, and just about no one is safe (not even humanity).
The only complaints I've heard about this movie follow a pattern of "Oh, the cell shading isn't as good as Anime A, or the story isn't as compelling as Anime B." The fact of the matter, this movie works 95% of the time. Take in mind that most people watch Gundam for the excellent giant robot fights, not for the story. Its an action series. However, even from a plot standpoint, the movie works, taking the best parts from so many other sci-fi works such as Ender's Game and Star Wars, and using them to construct a very effective backdrop to this sci-fi thriller. The only thing that doesn't work is much of the political issues, and to some extent the ending (Setsuna turns the giant Else Death Star into a Flower, though to be fair they do make a ship out of this that will embark on an Enterprise-like journey).
Also, the first 15 minutes are a bit slow, but as soon as Gundam 00 gets off the ground, it never stops.
Its fair to say that I loved it.
Gundam 00 the Movie does so many hinges remarkably well that I find that my complaints are relatively minor. Is it the best Japan has to offer? Probably not. Does it do what it was intended to do? Certainty. In almost all regards, this complex movie works.
I think its about time that I actually watch Season 2.
Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer gets 4 and a half stars out of 6.