The Powerpuff Girls, the Movie
Saw The Powerpuff Girls Movie and All I Got Was This Lousy
Two or three years ago, as the Girls were still emerging
onto the pop culture scene, I was holding my breath for
their first movie. I used to sit in my office humming the
theme song to myself all day; I even had a little chair
dance I would do in front of my computer. I was obsessed
with these three girls. They were everything good and cool
But I had to stop holing my breath eventually (even film
critics, despite their superhuman wits, have limits). And
now the Girls are rolling onto the scene amid the fourth
Pokemon Movie (Pokemon 4 ever! who would have thunk it?)
and God only knows how many from Nickelodeon (it's up around
a dozen I think). And while the competition is paltry at
best, The Powerpuff Girls don't quite punch it up enough.
The sound track is cool and pumping, they have re-vamped
almost every original PPG tune into something a little more
clubby, which works well with the theater's surround sound.
The action is hard and fast, just as in the show, only with
a feature format you can spend as much time as you want
showing an ass whupping, so the fight and action scenes
are longer, cooler, and more campy. The girls are as giggly
and bubbly as ever; Mojo Jo-Jo is conniving and evil, and
well deserving of the cum-uppens that you just know he's
gonna get. It's almost exactly what you'd expect from a
show like The Powerpuff Girls.
The movie is derived from a thoroughly charming show, with
some of the best, most clever writing in cartoons today
(trust me, I've been keeping tabs). Some of that wit has
carried over to the movie, no small feat as, even with the
best of them, a cartoon movie based on a show usually manages
to be either totally for kids, or a tad too adult, and entertaining
for very few. But the writers of the movie have stayed true
to form in timing and absurdity. I don't know why but I'm
still cracking up at the idea that there's a company called
Olive Corp (the world largest Olive manufacturer, of course)
which has a sky scraper in Townsville topped by a gigantic
metal olive with a cocktail spear running through it.
Or the headline in the paper, after the girls have played
a particularly energetic game of tag: "Freaky Bug Eyed
Weirdo Girls Broke Everything." Or Buttercup's beautifully
delivered 'At least I have a bed' speech. Or the idea of
having a point in the movie where it will rain dead monkeys.
Call me hopelessly immature, but the humor in the movie,
much like with the show, is terrific.
Unfortunately there isn't nearly enough of it. The movie
basically ends up as nothing more than an 85-minute long
episode. Which would be fine if it was one of the really,
really good episodes. Instead it's one of the kinda-sorta-clever
episodes. This is a let down to those of us who like the
show, but for those of us dragged there unwittingly it may
be interminable (Michael, I'm so sorry).
My one big issue with the movie, the thing that let me
down the most, is that none of the girls' characters are
explored all that well. Anyone who watches the show knows
that these three girls have individual personalities that
can be quite deep and thoughtful at times. The ways they
interact with each other, and with the professor, their
different methods of battling monsters, the fact that Bubbles
speaks Spanish. All of these are subtle nuances that the
writers of the show have been adding deftly over the years.
Unfortunately very little of their personalities make it
across to the big screen, and we see nothing more that the
basic personality stereotypes: The Cute One, The Bossy One,
and The Lesbian.
Cuteness: Four Care-Bears: Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear,
Hugs Cub, and Share Bear (does it get any cuter?)
No one can ever deny how cute the Powerpuff Girls are. Especially
Bubbles. Especially when she's drawing with crayons or hugging
that damn octopus, or saying 'bunny!' So Cute!
Action: Three Schwarzeneggers
Much like the TV show, the action scenes are quick-fire
and rapid-paced. There was even an "Epileptics Beware!"
sign as I came up the escalator. It's not that violent (apart
from the rain of dead monkeys), but there's a whole lot
of ass kicking. And the tag scene is really cool.
Re-watchability: 2 ½ Frankenfurters
There is a good chance that this movie might achieve cult
status, it's bad enough, but good enough at the same time.
More importantly, most of the humor happens so quickly that
it will probably take two or three viewing to actually see
Overall: 2 ½ Freaky Bug Eyed Weirdo Girls
Parents and children may have a different take on the movie,
but die hard fans who are looking for something to rival
watching Mojo-Jo Jo eat breakfast or Buttercup refuse to
take a bath are going to be fairly disappointed, not totally
disappointed, just a little bit. However, that doesn't mean
they shouldn't see it anyway. I mean, if you're choices
are this or Mr. Deeds, that is no hard call.
Wr. Charlie Bean, Lauren Faust, Paul Rudish, Don Shank
Dr. Craig McCracken
Str. Cathy Cavadini, Tara Strong, Elizabeth Daily, Roger
L. Jackson, Tom KaneNow Playing Everywhere
before bedtime (seriously, no shows after 8 PM)
-- Carter Edwards