In my ongoing quest to destroy my childhood I have set out to (re)watch all Pokémon films, and see how they hold up now that I am an adult. Admittedly, I only remember having seen parts of "Giratina and the Sky Warrior" (which I hated) and none of the later films because I grew up and cultivated good taste, so I should really come up with a replacement for my opening sentence. 'In my ongoing quest to ruin my summer holiday...' perhaps? Those who have seen the previous film, "The Rise of Darkrai", will remember it had one of the series' more intimate storylines, revolving around a tender Darkrai who tries to shield his precious garden from a galactic dispute between Dialga and Palkia. That film was bogged down by the writers' notion that 40 minutes of big Pokémon punching each other was the more interesting storyline. In the same idiom, "Giratina and the Sky Warrior" begins with Giratina and Dialga fighting for no apparent reason (Palkia presumably scarpered.) It is a dull and unimaginative fight, as well as an annoying one, because the action is constantly interrupted by the Pokémon Shaymin. The pink-white-green hedgehog was probably meant to be cute, but keeps demanding attention and produces a sound that makes you want to pierce your own eardrums. The pretence of being a sequel to "The Rise of Darkrai" is dropped after this introduction. The real story begins when Shaymin stumbles upon Ash and Co., completely ruins their lunch and has to be taken care of. At this moment I was struck with terror. That insufferable runt is the films' focus? I wasn't half prepared for the horrors that were to come. Shaymin turns out to have a voice that matches its squeezing in terms of aggravation, and to be of the vilest character. Jirachi and Manaphi fell into the same 'small and cute' mould, but those Pokémon were well-meaning and affable. Who thought that Shaymin's spoiled, arrogant, lazy, weak and whiny character would endear any audience? That pest on legs has to be taken back to its flower garden -- or rather: demands to be taken there: 'Look here, I have to go to the flower garden, and that's that!' 'I thought you said you could fly,' Ash remarks, sensibly. 'I can, but not now.' Isn't that witty? Shaymin is the Pokémon equivalent to a spoiled little nephew who hasn't been sufficiently spanked by his absent parents. He may well be the most singularly unlikable creation in all of Pokémon, and we are stuck with him for the whole plodding film. The journey that follows is an exercise in tedium: About 45 minutes of carrying, escorting and saving Shaymin, only to be yapped at in return. Mercifully, after reaching the garden, the film becomes boring instead of insufferable. A villain appears that catches Giratina (remember him?), and now has to be defeated, because he is going to destroy the world from an alternate dimension, or something like that. At least there is more action now, which is good, because it means there's less talking. The 'mirror dimension' even allows for some visual creativity to distract from that paroxysmal hedgehog. The pleasant mediocrity of these scenes softens the awfulness of the first half somewhat, although the shatteringly underserved sad goodbye at the end drains any remaining goodwill. Even though considerably less effort was put into most of the later films, "Giratina and the Sky Warrior" stands amongst the worst entries in the series. It is bland, boring and poorly paced, but we are used to that. No, it is Shaymin, that indefatigable aggravator, that damns this film to its private place in Hell (circle 7, ring 3, section 2: violence against art). "Giratina"'s only pre is that it made me appreciate the mediocrity of the other films, because at least they did not make me want to mutilate my sensory organs.
Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior
Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior
When a new Pokèmon emerges able to create parallel dimensions, it's up to Ash Ketchum and his friends to stop a mysterious stranger from using its powers for evil!
March 21, 2020