Friday, 19 May 2017

Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry [劇場版 フェアリーテイル Dragon Cry - Gekijōban Fearī Teiru: Doragon Kurai] (2017)

Plot:
Some cigar-chomping villain rocking a moustache has acquired an all powerful stick called the 'Dragon Cry' and wants to destroy stuff with it (such is the power of dragon rage, sorrow, and whatever else is supposed to be in that stick). So it's up to the magickal folk of 'Fairy Tale' (the silly name given to what I guess is the mage equivalent of special forces...?) to stop all the trouble before it is too late.

Review:
This would be May's anime offering available to me at the cinema and while it may exactly be the best film you'll see, I at least found it a little more entertaining than the tedious 'Sword Art Online' movie that popped up last month (hopefully I get something more akin to 'A Silent Voice' next month).

As with 'Sword Art Online', this appears to be a follow up movie to some anime series. A series I have never seen (and can't say I plan) about something or other that I don't know about because, despite telling myself I would, I forgot to do a quick bit of research to get me up to speed (I ended up binge watching 'Westworld' which, while I'm here, was entertaining but I much preferred the original film).

Without the prior knowledge of the material, I did feel a little left out when it came to who's who and all that and then completely lost when the film chucks all these characters at me who all come across as anime stereotypes though at least they have different hair colours to help me differentiate between them and, although the film doesn't waste time by trying to develop character, it's easy enough to work out each person's sole characteristic.

Not that the film really cares about any depth (or lack of) as it spends most of its time doing one of two things. The first being throwing a lot of action around the place. The second being perving around scantily clad women with busty forms. To give you an idea:
This scene does involve a lot of close ups and just goes on and on after coming out of nowhere.
And she's meant to fight in that outfit.
Seriously, large chunks of the film seem to be devoted to the 'camera' drooling at these women in some overly childish way. And if that's not enough for you, there is also a bunny lady and a cat schoolgirl to choose from too. It's a bit pathetic, really, and far too prevalent for me to consider it as some for of joke.

As for the action, it's just the usual mishmash of characters with colourful powers (fire, ice, wind, zodiac summons, and some other random ones I couldn't be bothered to suss out) either beating up faceless goons or facing off against bad folk with other powers (leg power, floating fire-breathing doll power, and super speedy floating sphere power - I don't know, maybe all that's missing is heart and they can summon Captain Planet). It's not exactly riveting stuff and the film's animation style does take some getting used to (it does feel like it is left over from the 80s) due to some of the simplicity of it and the fact that it feels very slap-sticky.

All of the above doesn't leave much room for plot in the kindly short 85 minute runtime. So, every now and then, the film will take a couple of minutes just to have the characters talk and fill in the gaps before the next perving and/or sparring session. And, on occasion, you'll have characters like the central villain just spell everything out for you/introduce things pulled randomly out of the film's arse in a quick line (the highlight being when the guy just suddenly decides that now is the time to introduce that secret project he had been working on despite there being no hint of it before or any hint that it will go anywhere - it's just a device to get some faceless goons to appear to keep people occupied for a few minutes).

Eventually, it all becomes very tiring. I had no investment in the relentless action and all the characters and plots don't actually go anywhere of importance... unless it's the kind of thing where you'd have to be familiar with the previous material to get anything out of this.

Now, that said, the intentional silliness of parts of the film did actually throw up some light entertainment with some amusing moments here and there. I guess it kept me occupied and enough to get me to sit through the more tediously serious or gratuitous moments and the repetitive action.

At the end of it all, I found the film proved more watchable than I had anticipated despite the plot, characters, action, and just general quality leaving a lot to be desired. If you're a fan of 'Fairy Tail' then this is clearly aimed at you and there's likely much more to get out of it. As for me, I sat through it, wasn't too taxed by what I saw, finished watching it and then just moved on.

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