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

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.