Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Pac-Man And The Ghostly Adventures: Mission Impacable!" - - Devourer Of Souls

So, yes, I know. What did I expect when I rented something called "Pac-Man And The Ghostly Adventures: Mission Impacable!", right? Well, I guess I kind of expected a movie. After I rented it (Redbox Exclusive!), I took a look at the running time. 66 minutes. OK, it's a short movie but that's whatever. I figured it would be 60 minutes of Pac-Man eating stuff. I used to watch the cartoon as a kid so let's pop this in and see what's in store.

"Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Watch Past Here."

An experienced movie viewer can tell you that you can judge a movie by the trailers accompanying it. So when I say trailers for a trilogy of cheap "Jungle Book" movie, one for another trilogy of "Donkey Kong Country" movies that look like they were rendered on a Nintendo 64, and *ugh* "Primates Of The Caribbean," I knew I was in too deep.

I also knew I was in some serious trouble when I realized this wasn't a movie but a collection of episodes. The idea of having to hear Pac-Man's god-awful theme song more than once in a day made me put my ear drums on suicide watch. I wish I could find a version of this song on YouTube but I think it's banned for being the real "Ring" video.

"I have brought shame to our ancestors, father."

In the first episode, we get a story about how Pac-Man eats too much and needs to learn self-control. Apparently some corporate big wig decided having a cartoon character eat for 22 minutes straight was a bad role model, but if that's the case why do a Pac-Man cartoon in the first place? That would be like having a Super Mario Brothers cartoon that focuses on knee health and how low impact stepping is better than jumping.

So Pac-Man refuses to eat, and then is forced to eat a ghost wearing a remote control which lets the bad guys control him and he goes to where all the ghosts live and the steals the remote. The end. Except for it's not, because A) at the very end of the episode he eats all the food in town, so the moral of self-control is less of a moral and more of a plot device and B) It is at this point I realize that I'm watching episode one. And it's 66 minutes long. Two more episodes to go.

At this point, things began to blur a bit. The next two episodes involve the president of Pac-Land getting possessed and hunting down Pac-Man as an enemy of the state and one where the evil head ghost steals a container of corpses so he can be reincarnated and restart some old war. Yeah, sounds like some real light hearted kid's stuff, doesn't it?


I don't have a problem with dark themes in children's cartoons. That was the best thing about "Nico The Unicorn." But when you have people telling fart jokes as they're trapped in Hell, well, that's just sloppy. Pick a theme and an audience and run with it.

"Did you just fart, or is that the smell of flesh burning in the eternal lake of fire?"
"A little of column A, a little of column B"

Before I go and scrub this movie out of my brain with self-medication I want to tell you a story. One November, a long time ago, when I was a kid, my older brother and his friends were picking on me. I had some real anger issues back then but I couldn't fight three big kids so I ran home. As slammed the door shut, my brother and his buddies continued to taunt me. Next to the door was a big bowl of bite-sized Snickers. Seeing them as less than candy and more as projectiles, I swung the door open and began pelting the bullies with candy.

One of them laughed and said "He's throwing candy! Let's make him madder!"

I learned my lesson that day. But here you have ghosts chucking food at a creature that does nothing but eat. His gaping maw is a bottomless abyss and yet you throw food. He eats ghosts, and instead of hitting him over his head/body with a chair, you literally create an edible trail right towards your fragile undead form. And as he burps out your eyeballs he turns and gives the audience a thumbs up. Your death is barely worthy of a smirk from the heartless entity known as the Pac-Man.

This is where you go when you die, kids. Sweet dreams.


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