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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

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.