Home   |   Register               Web Search: by Google
channel navigation

Main Page 
Love Life 
In Store 

       TV Listings

'Pokemon': The Power of Duh

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 21, 2000


    'Pokemon: The Movie 2000' Pikachu and the gang are back in "Pokemon the Movie 2000." (2000 Pikachu Projects)
What do you do when your "Pokemon" interpreter leaves you hanging?

My son Andrew, an 8-year-old connoisseur of Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle and the other pint-size, squeaking, beeping creations in the Pokemon universe, opted to watch "DragonBall Z" on Saturday morning television rather than accompany me to "Pokemon the Movie 2000." I was left to chart the elusive waters of Pokemonia on my own.

After 20 minutes of the most impenetrable movie I've seen since Nicolas Roeg's "Performance," my main thought was this: What do you have to smoke, inject or swallow to understand this thing?

Here's a quick rundown of the plot – helped in no small measure by Warner Bros.' press kit. A dastardly Pokemon collector (who apparently dreams of talking like Jeremy Irons) captures Moltres, the Pokemon bird of fire, and then goes after Zapdos, bird of lightning, and Articuno, the bird of ice.

By capturing all three, he reasons, he might also lure the sea-dwelling Lugia, who will ace his collection. Unfortunately, according to legend, these birds maintain the balance of nature. And according to the same legend, if this balance is upset, only a "Chosen One" can restore harmony to the universe. That Chosen One would be Ash Ketchum, the human trainer of Pikachu, who reluctantly accepts his destiny.

While this is going on, the Pokemon creatures follow irrelevantly, making strange chirrupping, squeaking noises. Chief among them is Pikachu, who is forever screeching "Pika!" followed by "Chu!" I don't usually long for an automatic weapon during a movie screening, but Pikachu made my trigger finger twitch.

I know a little of the Pokemon universe, thanks to my son's wall poster that has approximately 80 mug shots of these critters. If there's nothing else I can do in life, I could at least identify Snorlax and Psyduck in a lineup. But I was still confused by this movie which, like its incoherent predecessor ("Pokemon the First Movie"), is a Japanese-language film that has been redubbed and reconfigured for English-speaking audiences.

The movie, which comprises a completely obtuse 22-minute short called "Pikachu's Rescue Adventure" and the 80-odd minute feature (called "The Power of One"), has a soundtrack working almost independently of its picture. Many of the references and jokes that only a Japanese audience would understand have been altered (on the soundtrack) to make cheap jokes. But most of these jokes are aimed – or seem to be – at adults. So what we have here is an incompetent "What's Up, Tiger Lily" or "Mystery Science Theater," except that the humor is, well, rather pathetic. Add bad jokes to confusing story and cheap animation and you have "Pokemon the Movie 2000." In other words, avoid this movie unless a) your child has refused to eat until you take him or her, or b) your house is being fumigated to kill an infestation of mosquitoes with the West Nile virus.

POKEMON THE MOVIE 2000 (G, 112 minutes) – Contains nothing objectionable except the unmistakable stench of crass commercialism.


© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company

Search Entertainment

Optional Keyword

powered by citysearch.com
More Search Options
Related Item
"Pokemon the Movie 2000"
showtimes and details

Home   |   Register               Web Search: by Google
channel navigation