Do I really need to go into plot details? OK, if you insist. Part 1 centres on Pikachu, a cute, mousy Pokemon (short for "Pocket Money" ... oops, I mean "Pocket Monsters") who goes on holiday to a dude ranch for Pokemon, each of whom has a special power that they use in (mostly) harmless battles. That's about it. Part 2 gets much more action-packed as the genetically engineered Mewtwo launches a war of revenge on the world that created him, gathering the best Pokemon trainers (and their Pokemon of course) on a remote island for a big challenge. Or something like that.
It's pretty excruciating, really. Pikachu's Vacation is vacuous and stupid, with irritating little transition graphics that make you want to throw things at the screen. Mewtwo Strikes Back at least has a storyline (sort of), and some impressive animation effects. Here I can start to see what all the fuss is about, as the characters begin to take on personality in their battle between good (getting along, friendship, trust) and evil (mistrust, blame, jealousy). So the kids'll love it. But would it have been too much to ask for just a tiny bit of interest for the grown-ups?
[PG--cartoon violence] 10.Apr.00
US release 12.Nov.99; UK release 14.Apr.00
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