Pokemon 4Ever | Chicago Reader

Pokemon 4Ever

Why does the title of this Japanese animated feature remind me of Khrushchev's dire prediction “We will bury you”? A video game released in 1996 that has since evolved into a hit TV series, videos, plush toys, trading cards, comic books, and God knows what else, Pokemon has generated billions of dollars with its assortment of cute creatures and half-baked fantasy scenarios. This film—the tenth in a series, but only the fourth to be released theatrically in the U.S.—alternates between chunks of opaque exposition delivered by cardboard characters and eruptions of colorful and highly imaginative action, as the three kid heroes search for a mysterious horselike pokemon, hook up with a fourth boy who's been blasted forward from the past, domesticate a small blue pokemon with a head like a flower bulb, and battle an evil villain who rides around on a giant metal arachnid. The most impressive set piece involves a whirling storm that pulls together a giant floating sphere of twigs and leaves, which coalesces into a sort of destructive winged wicker man; by contrast the character animation is extremely low-grade, in keeping with the relative unimportance of the narrative. 77 min.

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