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I have no idea whether this makes the prospect more appealing for accompanying adults, but the 112-minute running time here includes ads for the official Pokémon magazine and console games, multiple unfathomable shorts, and a sneak peek at next summer’s live-action Detective Pikachu. After last year’s animated series reboot I Choose You! – detailing how everyboy hero Ash first teamed up with the totemic Pikachu – it’s evidently business as usual within the branded collectibles universe.
The overextended cartoon that follows broadens its predecessor’s focus by establishing a coastal Poké-festival that brings multiple players – including (brand expansion alert) girls – to the table. Yet it never transcends its resemblance to a trailer for other forms of product, landing just in time for Christmas.
The cynicism might have slipped down easier had it been cut with something else; instead, it’s set before us in artless blocks. Director Tetsuo Yajima, a veteran of the late-90s TV series that made this pursuit a phenomenon, can punch up the colours here and there and drop in (clumsy) stabs at digimation, but he’s contractually obliged to retain the same basic-to-ungainly after-school visuals and irritating voice artists.
This reboot hasn’t changed the way these things look and sound. That arrested creative development surely accounts for the needless furore provoked online by the live-action movie’s newly furry Pikachu: an imagination has been applied that challenges the long-established rules of the game.
Even narratively, the new film is a dud, as diffuse in its storytelling as the clouds of toxic smog that threaten the festival’s success. Amid the fug, grownups will be able to make out an entirely arbitrary designation of rare new creatures, intended to shift more packets of trading cards, and an environmental message, half-baked and half-inched from Ghibli, which seriously positions Pokémon collecting as a means of slowing the depletion of the Earth’s natural resources. Suffice to say, it plays a little synthetic coming barely an hour after an advert for a tie-in magazine offering an array of single-use free gifts.
Give the conglomerates responsible points for brazenness, but if our kids are swallowing this Pika-garbage wholesale, we really are doomed.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us review – dud animation lost in promo fog | Film