NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to! Now, a long time ago, Walt Disney contracted Akira Kurosawa to direct a series of movies. Kurosawa directed 13 movies featuring Sailor V and her white cat Artemis. Along with its live adaptations filmed in IMAX 3-D, the manga series by Naoko Takeuchi was a shojo reboot of the character. It later spawned a spin-off anime called "Sailor Moon", which spawned its own reboot, known outside the United States as "Sailor Moon USA". The reboot, in turn, spawned live-action motion pictures starring Emma Watson as the title character. This review is for one of them. As Emma is preparing her own series of reviews for my website, I'm fulfilling her request and reviewing "Sailor Moon S". The movie is actually pretty good. In fact, all the movies are pretty good. But I especially like this one in particular because it marked the start of a new era in the career of Rupert Grint, who portrays...
NC (voiceover): SAILOR URANUS!? ISN'T SHE A GIRL? WHAT THE HELL, CASTING AGENCY?
NC: That was my reaction to hearing of Rupert being cast as Sailor Uranus, as well as that [the reaction] of a lot of people. Like everyone else, though, I accepted his portrayal of the character after seeing a series of promotional photos and a teaser trailer attached to "Sailor Moon R". But one thing still bugs me, even after I sat through the whole picture:
NC (voiceover): WHY THE HELL IS RUPERT GIVEN FIRST BILLING? ISN'T EMMA AS SAILOR MOON THE LEAD?
NC: However, I shall accept it as the mark of Rupert's first fiction film in which he cross-dresses.
NC (voiceover): And you'll see from him both standard crossdressing when he's Sailor Uranus and recursive crossdressing when he's Haruka Teno.
NC: Enough about the casting details, let's get this review over with before it gets too long.
NC (voiceover): OK, the first thing you'll see is an apocolyptic nightmare sequence in which statues of the Sailor Senshi get blown up before the title zooms in.
NC: I'm relieved that it was just a nightmare. For a minute I thought it was 2012 all over again.
NC (voiceover): But then we see that a new villain is approaching, and boy, is he a mad scientist! He first strikes Cherry Hill Temple, where one dæmon jumps Rei Hino and steals her heart crystal. The rest of the Sailor Senshi intervene, but they're quickly overpowered. Just when all seems lost, though, two mysterious Sailor Senshi attack from the shadows and dispatch the dæmon, steal Rei's heart crystal, and give it back to her upon discovering that it wasn't a Talisman. Days later, Usagi Tsukino and Minako Aino are hanging out at the Crown Arcade when a handsome-looking boy (or so it seems) introduces himself as Haruka Teno. He agrees to race Minako and beats her just before his girlfriend Michiru Kaio shows up. Usagi and Minako agree to spy on them, and late that afternoon, a car repairman by the name of Kumada is attacked for his heart crystal, and Sailors Moon and Venus arrive on the scene only to be beaten as brutally as last time a dæmon was involved. And then the mystery girls introduce themselves at the critical moment.
Sailor Uranus: HOLD IT RIGHT DEYAH! Lured by da new epic, I'm Sailor Uranus!
Sailor Neptune: Lured by the new epic, I'm Sailor Neptune!
Sailor Venus: They're Sailor Senshi too?
Sailor Moon: Well, you wouldn't know from their attitude from our last encounter.
Sailor Uranus: URANUS WOYLD SHAKING!
Sailor Neptune: NEPTUNE DEEP SUBMERGE!
NC: And so Sailors Uranus and Neptune dispatch the dæmon effortlessly and save the day.
Sailor Uranus: Don't take dis as an alliance, but... you do it dis time.
NC (voiceover): And so Sailor Moon restores Kumada's heart crystal, and the day is saved. The next day, a Saturday, the shocking truth about Haruka is revealed.
Usagi: Where's Haruka?
Michiru: Oh, you mean this tomboy?
Usagi: Haruka! You're a...
Haruka: I never said I was a boy.
NC (voiceover): As the film progresses, Haruka tells Usagi about her early life, starting with her mother's death in a car accident just days after her birth and her father's decision to raise her as a boy and going on to her military training with both her father and, after his death, the Army. Also, she tells of her school life and why she wore the boys' uniform from her first day in a school with uniforms despite her making no secret of her true gender as well as how she met Usagi's kid brother Shingo and how they formed a government-sanctioned hacker team.
NC: Incidentally, John Travolta's son Jett portrays Haruka in her junior high days in a flashback sequence depicting that first meeting with Shingo. And I must say, he's a good actor despite having little to no experience in the field.
NC (voiceover): During a later scene, Sailor Neptune is kidnapped, and Sailors Uranus and Moon are shackled together by the enemy. However, they pull off the rescue in spectacular fashion. Later, Minako expresses her desire to go to a concert at her most recent boyfriend's school, which is an all-boys school. Upon hearing that little detail, Usagi, with Luna's approval, turns herself and Minako into boys with her Luna Pen. They meet Haruka, Shingo, and the rest of the hackers outside the school, and the female hackers had been coerced into cross-dressing by Shingo.
NC: Of course, Haruka, as we all know, cross-dresses regularly, so she doesn't have a problem with that, though for the first time in her life she has to impersonate a boy.
NC (voiceover): At the rock concert, after the first song a dæmon attacks and gasses the auditorium. Usagi, Minako, and Haruka all put on gas masks pulled from what I like to call their "magic satchels" and help evacuate the auditorium. Haruka herself leaves just as the auditorium is almost empty. Usagi and Minako transform, and Sailors Uranus and Neptune show up just as Moon and Venus are losing again. When it's all over, the rock concert continues as normal, with Haruka coming back just as the band resumes playing.
Vocalist: Sorry for the interruption, but someone had been letting knockout gas loose. I'd like to thank those three boys over there for helping evac the auditorium before the gas got worse.
NC (voiceover): An old friend of Mamoru Chiba is holding a bilingual party, and the Sailor Senshi attend. Usagi accidentally mistakes some beer for orange juice and drinks the whole thing. Luna notices her slurred speech and lets out what's probably the lamest pun in the whole series:
Luna: Who the hell do you think you are, a drunken Sailor Senshi?
NC: Ha ha, very funny!
NC (voiceover): Anyway, special guests Haruka and Michiru perform a piano-and-violin piece, which the partygoers love. However, as everyone is dancing, a dæmon shows up to crash the party. Haruka and Michiru leave, and the Sailor Senshi scurry over to the nearest secluded area to transform. Once again, their powers are overwhelmed, and once again, Sailors Uranus and Neptune show up. For the rest of the party, Haruka and Michiru are absent. Usagi's birthday is at hand, and while wandering off into a tower after the party, she gets kidnapped by Kaolinite, who is confronted by Haruka and Michiru, who transform into Sailors Uranus and Neptune before Usagi's eyes--right before Kaolinite warps to a helicopter outside the building. Then the duo jumps out of the building and grabs onto the chopper just as it starts to leave, having been hijacked by Kaolinite. During the struggle, Kaolinite is apparently killed, and Sailors Uranus and Moon throw the body into Tokyo Bay.
Sailor Uranus: Rest in peace, muddah-fuckah.
NC: What was that?
Sailor Uranus: Rest in peace, muddah-fuckah.
NC: I'M SURPRISED THIS GOOD EXCUSE FOR A MID-'80S FILM WAS RATED PG-13 IN THE FIRST PLACE, WITH SUCH LANGUAGE FLYING AROUND! OK, let's continue with the good stuff, of which there's a lot.
NC (voiceover): Haruka recounts her first meeting with Michiru and their subsequent summer vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando. Haruka first becomes Sailor Uranus in Space Mountain after Michiru as Sailor Neptune shows up. After Eudial attacks, Sailors Uranus and Neptune decide to strike her in the Witches 5 hideout. The Sailor Senshi follow close behind, only to see Sailors Uranus and Neptune fighting a losing battle against Eudial. As it turns out, two of the Talismans they were looking for were in their own heart crystals! After Eudial uses her heart crystal extraction gun to blow Sailor Neptune's heart crystal out, Sailor Uranus kicks the gun out of her hands and catches it for the sole purpose of extracting her own heart crystal.
Sailor Moon: NOOOOOOOOOO!
NC (voiceover): Then Sailor Pluto shows up and presents her own heart crystal, which contains the last Talisman.
Sailor Pluto: Is this what you were looking for?
NC (voiceover): Somehow, Sailors Uranus and Neptune are revived, and all eight Sailor Senshi combine their powers to defeat Eudial, who drives away with her tail between her legs. However, someone in the Witches 5 sabotaged the brakes in her '71 Pinto, which explodes just as it falls into Tokyo Bay. As it turns out, the Holy Grail was formed from the three Talismans and gave Sailor Moon a new upgrade, which drains her energy quickly. The Outer Senshi and the Inner Senshi form an alliance to find the Messiah, but the fight is far from over.
Sailor Uranus: You can say dat again.
NC (voiceover): While plotting the end of the world, Professor Souichi Tomoe, the mad scientist we saw earlier in the film, poses as a family man, with Kaolinite posing as his assistant. But how does that explain the dead body we saw earlier?
Artemis: Well, you see, the thing is... they Never Found The Body.
NC: OK, that just about sums it up. Anyway, I forgot to mention it earlier, but the first 2 movies formed a Silver Age, this one and "SuperS" comprise a Bronze Age, and the upcoming "Stars" marks the Dark Age. Oh, and the "Codename Sailor V" movies in IMAX 3-D make up the Gold Age. Moving right along.
NC (voiceover): After a Western showdown between a dæmon and the Outer Senshi in wild west attire (with Haruka as a cowboy, Michiru as a local gal, and Setsuna Meio as a cowgirl), the Inner Senshi finish off the monster. Then Shingo comes in and reveals that he knew about Usagi's double life all along and yet loves her all the more because of it.
Shingo: I'd never forgive you if you got yourself blown up. Please be careful... for my sake.
NC (voiceover): What's left of the Witches 5 is easily dispatched. Mimete took longer than the rest, but she still got locked inside her own digital trap easily and starved to death. Tellu, played by Sarah Connor, no less, and Viluy meet their maker even more quickly. Which leaves the only pair of twins, Cyprine and Ptiol. Sailors Uranus and Neptune, respectively, dispatch the evil twins, and Sailor Uranus is shocked to find Kaolinite standing there. This leads to a Japanese fencing duel that goes over Tokyo Bay. Everything's working out for Sailor Uranus--at least until she lost an eye AND a hand.
Kaolinite: If you only knew the power of evil. Daisuke Teno never told you about your mother.
Sailor Uranus: He told me enough. He told me you KILLED her... widda CAR BOMB!
Kaolinite: No, Haruka. I am your mother.
Sailor Uranus: No... dat's impossible!
Kaolinite: Search your feelings. You know it to be true.
Sailor Uranus: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Kaolinite: Join me, and together we will rule the new world as mother and daughter!
NC (voiceover): Sailor Uranus chooses suicide over turning evil, jumping off the catwalk, which is obviously supported by beams in the drink, and detransforming back to Haruka upon landing. Fortunately for her, the Army finds her, and she's transported to the nearest MASH unit to be operated upon, with a new cybernetic eye AND a mimetic polyalloy right hand. It's pretty tough to hide a red eye, so she's given an eyepatch to conceal it. If you ask me, she looks a bit like Sagat's nicer kid.
M. Bison: Of course!
NC: I said "Sagat", NOT "M. Bison"!
NC (voiceover): Anyway, Haruka spies on Professor Tomoe, suspecting something. Her suspicions seem to be confirmed when her red eye zooms into the laboratory.
Haruka: No... it can't be him...
NC (voiceover): Further zooming confirms her suspicions.
Haruka: Holy shit, it IS him! I'd better aloight da uddahs.
NC (voiceover): As she leaves, laser fire tries to incapacitate her, and one laser goes so close she misses being decapitated by a hair! Haruka reaches Cherry Hill Temple safely, though, and relates the news to her compadres.
Haruka: Dis guy we're up against... I tink it's Tomoe.
NC (voiceover): So Haruka makes a brilliant plan. That night, Sailors Moon, Mercury, Uranus, and Neptune hurry over to the island where the lab is in Air Force fighters, with Mercury and Uranus in the cargo hold of each fighter. Once they reach the lab, Sailors Moon, Uranus, and Neptune pose as uncostumed Mooks, with Mercury as their prisoner. On the way, they come across Kaolinite, and Uranus tries to reason with her.
Sailor Uranus: I remember now.
Sailor Uranus: Dat you was once my muddah, Kaori Teno.
Kaolinite: That name no longer has any meaning to me.
NC (voiceover): After the unsuccessful attempt, Sailor Uranus rejoins her comrades and tries to keep up the act when they reach Professor Tomoe. But then Mooks come in and scare the shit out of the Sailor Senshi, who then blow their cover.
Professor Tomoe: You're... double agents?
Sailor Moon: Nah. Just lied about working for you lot.
NC (voiceover): At this, the Mooks start attacking the Senshi, who then dispatch them despite being few in number.
Sailor Uranus: You stay where you are. Da professah is mine!
NC (voiceover): And then Sailor Uranus heads the opposite direction from where she should be going to fight him.
Professor Tomoe: Ready?
Sailor Uranus: When you are.
NC (voiceover): Sailor Uranus manages to combine gymnastics with martial arts in her fighting skill. Professor Tomoe, though, Did Not Do The Research on roundhouse kicks, as he will soon reveal.
Professor Tomoe: Training for the ballet, Haruka?
Wah wah machine
Sailor Uranus: Training fo' da martial arts toy-na-ment is more like it! ATATATATATATATATA!
NC (voiceover): And Sailor Uranus proves her point with a series of punches... followed by more punches... before Professor Tomoe does something to reveal her actor's gender to those who didn't know already: a Groin Attack. Uranus, however, quickly recovers and does her own groin attack on Professor Tomoe.
Sailor Uranus: AHAHAHAHAHA! How d'ya like dem apples, Doc?
NC (voiceover): Sailor Uranus then throws him onto a machine just as Kaolinite comes in.
Sailor Moon: I hope he fries.
NC (voiceover): But unfortunately, he's revived by the electricity and is more powerful--powerful enough to levitate himself, even! Then Sailor Moon loses the Holy Grail to Hotaru Tomoe, who drinks its contents--and becomes a hulking monster named Mistress 9. Pharaoh 90 then shows up to cause some more trouble, leaving Sailors Moon, Mercury, and Neptune to fight both of them at once.
Professor Tomoe: You've come all this way to face a madman, and yet you find a god?
Sailor Mercury: Bloody hell, she's a powerful one!
Sailor Moon: FIGHT HARDER!
Professor Tomoe: You still refuse to accept my godhood? Keep your God! In fact, now may be a good time to pray to him! For I beheld Satan as he fell from Heaven LIKE LIGHTNING!
NC (voiceover): Despite the fact that they're enemies, Sailor Uranus is cautious enough to give Professor Tomoe a warning that he's headed toward danger with his carelessness.
Sailor Uranus: PROFESSOR! WATCH OUT FOR DAT FOIST S--
Professor Tomoe: WHOA! WAH-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOEY!
NC (voiceover): Then Sailor Moon gives a speech inviting Mistress 9 to fight alongside her group, causing Hotaru to overthrow Mistress 9 and become Sailor Saturn. Pharaoh 90, angered by this betrayal, takes it out on Sailor Uranus, electrocuting her in short spasms before going all out and nearly killing her. He would've, too, if Kaolinite hadn't interfered and used her magic to throw him into the portal, where he disintegrates.
NC (voiceover): The electricity meant for Sailor Uranus accidentally gets diverted to Kaolinite, who is about to die. But before she kicks the bucket, she has this to say:
Kaori Teno: Tell your friend... she was right.
NC (voiceover): Oh my God, this scene is pretty emotional. Moving right along. Haruka and Michiru put Usagi to the test one last time--and it becomes violent and deadly, to the point of Sailor Uranus about to kill Moon. And she would've, too, if Moon wasn't able to teleport herself. Finally realizing her destiny as Princess Serenity, Sailors Uranus and Neptune bow down in awe, and Moon for the first time realizes that they were testing her strength to see if she was fit to be their princess. And so Haruka and Michiru ride off into the sunset on a motorcycle.
NC: This movie is a classic. Probably the greatest of the series so far, and I hope I'll be able to see the last movie like I saw the other four, including this one. I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to!