My main issue with this film is the inconsequential plot; two kids searching for a mysterious island in the clouds while being pursued by both a band of ultra-cartoony – even for an actual cartoon – pirates and the army. The existence of this storyline exists only as a means to highlight the movie’s greatest assets which are thrillingly drawn chase scenes reminiscent of one of the first three Indiana Jones movies, and shirt-shredding fight sequences.
I know that all the movies I’ve seen from Ghibli are aimed towards children of all ages, including grown adults, but I didn’t get that vibe from this one. This felt more like a movie aimed at those with shorter attention spans, such as young children and potheads, neither of which are me. However, as soon as I made peace knowing my demographic might not have been calculated into the scriptwriting equation, the sooner I was able to enjoy this film.
While I’m not eager to sit through these 2 hours again any time soon, that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t still go out of my way to own this (should I find a decent used copy on DVD), if for no other reason than to watch one of the most cinematically entertaining street brawls since Roddy Piper and Keith David went toe-to-toe in John Carpenter‘s They Live.