You're Under Arrest! The Motion Picture
(Taiho Shichauzo: The Movie) (1999)
Directed by Junji Nishimura

Artistic & Entertainment Value
* *

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When a document describing the means of carrying out a terrorist attack on Tokyo is found during an arrest, two female traffic officers, Miyuki and Natsume, set out to prevent the discovered plot from being realized.

Junji Nishimura's animated film You're Under Arrest! The Motion Picture, which follows both the original to video series and the television program of the same title, while occasionally entertaining, is also shallow, unfocused and, ultimately, forgettable.

The style of the animation used in the movie resembles but is generally better than that found in either the television or made for video series. Sadly, although the movie does improve upon its predecessors visually, it is, in every other way, inferior to them. While the previous series were filled with light-hearted, fun adventures, genuine humor, and engaging characters, the film is not. The personalties of the two protagonists, Miyuki and Natsume, are barely hinted at in the movie, let alone revealed in any real way. The action sequences, which are presented in a far more serious manner than are those in the earlier programs, are, frankly, flat and uninteresting, and the story, being without engaging protagonists or villains, plays out like an extended clip from a television news broadcast. The film is, more often than not, boring.

Admirers of either the television or original to video series will probably be disappointed by the movie, which never captures the magic of either, but they will, most likely, enjoy it far more than will the viewer who has not been previously exposed to the film's characters. At least the former will know from other sources that these persons have personalities while the latter will not. You're Under Arrest! The Motion Picture is, sadly, dull and forgettable.

Review by Keith Allen

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