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Detective Conan: The Time Bombed Skyscraper

a.k.a. Meitantei Conan: Tokei Jikake no Matenrou

aa-conan-sky-1
Genre: Action/Mystery
Company: TOHO/Shogakukan Productions
Format: 1 movie
Dates: 4/19/1997

While sorting out his father’s fan mail, Conan comes across a garden party invitation addressed to Shinichi from the famous architect Moriya Teiji. Unable to RSVP to the party as his former self, Conan, posing as Shinichi on the phone, enlists Ran to go in his place. She agrees on one condition: He has to go on a date with her on his birthday, which is in just one week! Just hours before the big date, Conan discovers that someone has stolen a large amount of explosives and is targeting various locations around Beika City. The assailant plans to detonate the bombs at different times of the day, and he is challenging the great Shinichi Kudo to solve the riddles surrounding them before terror strikes. Can Conan figure out who is behind the madness and prevent a massive catastrophe from annihilating the city?

summary by L-Sama

 

Reviewed: 05/12/2011 by
Grade: 75% av-L-Sama

Highs: Improved animation; more Detective Conan fun; nice side mysteries

Lows: Easily solvable main mystery; too much action, not enough thinking

Being the first in the now long line of Detective Conan movies, The Time Bombed Skyscraper has the responsibility of setting the bar for future productions. It’s a lot of pressure on one film, but it does succeed on some levels. Unfortunately, it also fails on a few key occasions.

Being unfamiliar with a long standing franchise can make jumping into a new series a bit confusing. Fortunately, this movie takes a few minutes to explain everything to the viewer to help them catch up. After a quick briefing on Conan’s history and some of his gadgets, the main plot takes the wheel. For veterans of the show, everything that Detective Conan fans know and love about the TV series is in full force here. You’ve got your standard comedy bits at the expense of Kogoro Mori as well as Conan’s little one liners that still bring a chuckle out of me. No one is left out on the fun either. Everyone from the Mori’s to the Shounen Tantei group is here for the adventure, and they all get to play some role in the events.

The core plot here could never fit into one or even two television episodes. As a result, the movie takes full advantage of its near 100 minute length by weaving a large, grandiose tale complete with several side mysteries and explosions all around. These side mysteries are the bright spots in this film, as the set-up and execution of each one is rather well done. Once the bombs start to go off, however, that is when the movie begins to lose its focus. Intellectual twists and turns are traded for large, flashy explosions and intense action sequences, creating a bit of a double-edged sword. On one side, the explosions are vivid, and the action is fluid and fast paced. The Time Bombed Skyscraper gets to flex its artistic muscles with the help of an increased budget, as the animation is far smoother than its TV counterpart. On the other hand, there’s simply too much of it. While they supplement the side mysteries nicely, the action simply masks the biggest flaw of the movie: the central mystery itself.

A Detective Conan movie simply doesn’t feel right unless my mind is being entertained as well. Don’t get me wrong, the explosions and action are very entertaining and had me glued to the screen. It’s just that the main mystery is too simple to solve for its own good. With a decent lack of false leads and feeble bits of deception, there is very little challenge to identify who is behind it all. It’s sad to say that some of the TV series episodes have more complex mysteries than what is offered here. If you can’t figure out who is behind it all after the first half hour, then good for you…maybe. The rest of us will be a bit frustrated at the fact that there is still an hour left in the movie.

For a first attempt, The Time Bombed Skyscraper puts out a decent effort. It’s a solid starting point for newcomers to the Detective Conan franchise, while the returning customers will still get some enjoyment despite the shortcomings. There are fourteen other movies to date that have been made since this one, and while some have certainly exceeded their predecessor, you could still do worse than this.


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