Time tends to change things for some people,anger subsides,relationships become deeper and most importantly opinions can change. Such is the case with the film I watched three weeks ago that I had previously watched about a year ago. When I first watched it I loathed this film and I still do but now I have found new reasons to despise it. What film caused my dull rage,it was Tales of Earthsea. Wait, no I still hate that movie.What I meant to say is Slayers Premium.
Slayers Premium was released in 2001 and would be the last animated Slayers material till 2008's Slayers Revolution. This is the second film not to actually be written by Slayers author Hajime Kanzaka,the other being the previously discussed Perfect. Perfect dealt with the lack of Kanzaka with a darker tone and decent plot. However here we are reduced to two okay jokes and a well tread plot that can't hold it's own. It is trying to hard to recreate Slayers Return...like the other films and just can't do it.
The movie's big hook was that after four films of Naga and Lina inspired antics,we were finally getting a movie involving the more recognizable cast of the TV series...and Naga. However here is where the first big problem comes up:No one except Lina and Gourry have anything to do. The trickster demon,Xellos,only role is to fill Zelgadis and Amelia on the plot,which anyone could do. Then you don't see him again till the end of the movie. Zelgadis and Amelia are both disabled by a ridiculous curse before they can do anything. Then forget that they are an accomplished swordsman and pugilist respectively. It makes me question while we are even dealing with these three when clearly the movie wants to focus on Lina and Gourry.
The second main sticking point for me was the villain and this is where I've softened up on the film some. When I first watched this I derided him as an awful gay stereotype who's only joke was that he was swishy. However seeing him again I really don't get that vibe,and realized I should hate him for his true crime:being unfunny. For all I know the joke could be that he talks sort of weird and in certain voices that can be a good joke. However here it's not so the few scenes we get with him are a slog. On the other hand he is the indirect cause of two funny jokes but that is quickly forgotten because he's also responsible for making this movie longer.
His main plan is cursing everybody to talk in the octopus language to cause fear and confusion. The language disables magic because of the language barrier,and of course due to plot convince Lina gets hit by this right before she can let off a plot ending Dragon Slave. So we get to pad this movie's already short thirty minute run time just to recreate the ending to Return sans a ridiculous golem battle. Then once we get to the required big monster battle it's literately Lina standing behind a big rock and casting Dragon Slave.
Also without Kanzaka we get awful character interactions. Lina and Gourry play off each other like wet paper with Gourry lacking dialogue to even interact with Lina for the most of the movie other than to annoy her. Amelia and Zelgadis have been sort of shipped together in the main series and are traveling together here but lack the sweetness of the relationship. Zelgadis is more of a grumpy disapproving dad which is sort of in character but does feel out of place in his interactions with Amelia. The whole cast interacts like casual acquaintances rather than a group of traveling companions that has defeated cosmic horrors.
I guess I'll stop alluding to my main problem and just say it,this movie is not funny. Not many of the jokes work and those that do are few and far between. The original characters aren't entertaining,which is something even Great managed to get right. As I've said numerous times if Slayers isn't funny then I have to resort to looking at the plot and that is something you don't want. Gorgeous really did take Return's plot but still had funny jokes that were all it's own. This one takes the plot and foolishly thinks that it's a great plot. Even with all the problems Hourglass of Falces had it at least gave everyone an equal part in its' awfulness.
As I stated at the beginning time can change opinions. I do have more an appreciation for Perfect upon re watch. However time has allowed my hate for this film to grow and find more problems. The pacing is horrendous,the characters are either useless,unfunny or both and the plot is stale. The weirdly infuriating part of the whole mess asides from the film itself is the box art. The movie box set has art from this splashed all over it like this was the creme of the crop.Yes, I realize how petty this is but it bugs me.
Till next time Stay Positive