Pokemon: The First Movie

"Terrible"

Pokemon: The First Movie Review


Until I was debriefed at length by the father of a 5-year-old girl sitting in front of me at the preview screening of "Pokemon: The First Movie," all I knew about this Japanese-import cartoon phenomenon was that there was a cute, yellow cat-like character with a lighting bolt-shaped tail I kept seeing all over the World Wide Web.

Before I could stop him, the addicted daddy explained to me that there are 151 Pokemons -- a menagerie of mutant pets, each with special powers employed to defeat others in non-lethal, kiddie versions of cock fights. He told me about Poke-trainers and Poke-masters -- the Pokemon's human owners who care for them and train them for said battles, which come across like Dungeons and Dragons showdowns between Hello Kitty characters. He told me all about ambitious, heroic Poke-trainer Ash and his loyal Pokemon named Pikachu, the aforementioned cute yellow thing that communicates only by repeating its name with a series of different pronunciations.

"Pika-CHU! Piiiiiiiikachu! Pikachu-pikachu-pikachu! Pi-KA-chu!"

But anyone reading this review probably knows all this already because they have a child like this gentleman's adorable five-year-old, who kept interrupting with "That's not right, daddy!" before explaining where he went wrong with each of his Poke-mistakes.

The reason I'm telling you this is to make the point that listening to this loquacious fellow and his little girl explain Pokemon (an compound word from the Japanese for "pocket monster") to me for half an hour was endlessly more entertaining than the movie itself, which is nothing more than a (very) cheap way for Warner Bros. to cash in on a hot kiddie trend.

Even the kindergarten target audience will be hard-pressed to sit still for this elementary and lumbering Saturday morning reject adventure about the battle between a batch of benevolent Pokemons and an evil, bio-engineered super-clone Pokemon named MewTwo, spliced from a legendary, all-powerful Pokemon and bent on enslaving the world.

It's silly, psychological tripe about science run amok, with a half-hour of low-end, anime battle scenes (Pikachu screws up his face in concentration and lighting shoots from his whiskers!) that stop suddenly when the original Mew shows up to teach MewTwo the error of his ways (the practical upshot: Fighting Is Bad).

The first 20 minutes of the movie -- actually a short, featuring Pikachu and many of his fellow Pokemon on vacation -- is far more amusing than the dreary story that follows. That part is a semi-psychedelic romp through a summer camp-like amusement park, with a variety of Pokemons -- creatures based on dragons, turtles, cats, mice, ducks and half-hatched eggs.

It's dull, frankly, but not when compared to the main feature.

In short, you'll thank yourself if you can convince your kids to wait for the "Pokemon" movie on video (it won't be more than a few months). Then, at least, they can watch it without you.

And if you need an alternative, take them to "Elmo in Grouchland," which is more positive, more laughs and almost as much fun for grown-ups as for kids.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Animation

Run time: 29 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th March 2012

Box Office Worldwide: $163.6M

Budget: $30M

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures, Toho Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Satoshi ("Ash Ketchum"), Mayumi Iizuka as Kasumi ("Misty"), Yūji Ueda as Takeshi ("Brock"), Ikue Ōtani as Pikachu, Satomi Kōrogi as Togepi, as Musashi (''Jessie''), Shin'ichirō Miki as Kojirō (''James''), Inuko Inuyama as Nyarth (''Miaouss''), Masachika Ichimura as Mewtwo, Kōichi Yamadera as Mew, Tōru Furuya as Sorao (''Corey''), Aiko Satō as Sweet (''Neesha''), Wataru Takagi as Umio (''Fergus''), Raymond Johnson as Raymond, Ayako Shiraishi as Nurse Joy, Chinami Nishimura as Junsar (''Officer Jenny''), Sachiko Kobayashi as Voyager (''Miranda''), Yōsuke Akimoto as Dr. Fuji, Hirotaka Suzuoki as Sakaki (''Giovanni''), Unshō Ishizuka as Narration

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.