It's the third of the All Stars DX trilogy. These always starred all PreCure heroines to date, so here that's Futari wa, Splash Star, Yes! PreCure 5, Fresh, HeartCatch and Suite. Total heroine count: 21. (Cures Black, White, Bloom/Bright, Egret/Windy, Dream, Rouge, Lemonade, Mint, Aqua, Peach, Berry, Pine, Passion, Blossom, Marine, Sunshine, Moonlight, Melody and Rhythm, plus Shiny Luminous and Milky Rose. Plus their fairies. And supporting cast. And villains.) And we're not even halfway into the All Stars movies yet. It'll get sillier.
These team-up movies always go into production before their associated PreCure TV series starts airing, incidentally, so it's not unknown for the incumbents to be very slightly out-of-character. Here, Hibiki's a bit more defeatist than usual, while she and Kanade can transform without their Tones.
Anyway, this film's a dumb, spectacular blast. I loved it, but there's no point in watching it if you don't know PreCure. (Why would you, though?) The plot's negligible and goes like this:
1. Hibiki and Hummy gatecrash the HeartCatch girls' fashion show and start shouting at each other on stage, in front of hundreds of people. Hibiki then remembers that no one's supposed to know that Hummy can talk. Whoops. Even for Suite, that's an impressive brain failure.
2. Worlds merge and all the fairies fall out of the sky. A team-up of villains show up, this time from earlier PreCure movies. There's a massive confrontation, although to be honest at this stage the film's basically still introducing everyone. (I needed reminding who these villains were.)
3. That was the talky bit. From now on, it's nearly an hour of non-stop PreCure action. This film has zero interest in subtlety, plotting or clever plans. It just floors the accelerator and never lets up. Crazy ideas, surreal visuals and superpowered fight scenes. That's what we're here for. It's got the PreCures tricking their enemies into freezing an entire sea. It's got a Celestial Toymaker dice game, with the PreCures having to play Whack-A-Mole (with monsters), baseball, dancing, karaoke, etc. It's got Lemonade's Prism Chain attack and Moonlight standing firm and humourless as everyone else runs away before she single-handedly flattens everything in the room.
They play around with colour-coded groupings. There's Team Pink (idiot lead heroines), Team Blue (the clever ones... and, uh, Erika) and Team Yellow/Red/Purple. However, of course, every PreCure season gets a spotlight attack scene with its own theme music. That's the most important thing, of course. Damn, I love "Danzen". Gets me every time. I did, though, notice that the emotional power of a theme song is reduced if you play it quietly.
Even the fairies get an enemy to annoy, er, fight. You know, Shadow was originally a real threat. Here (s)he's defeated by fairies and the voice actress is taking the mickey... but never mind. It's funny.
There's a good amount of HeartCatch. (Erika made me laugh.) It looks as if the important teams for me are Futari wa and HeartCatch. That said, though, I also admire the fact that the All Star movies honour all the teams equally, including the less popular ones. (Well, almost. Kaoru and Michiru from Splash Star don't feature, but I can see why they're borderline.)
That said, though, the film then slams a door on the non-stop action towards the end, instead introducing emotional stakes. Hibiki gets a cool moment of determination. It's all good... if you're already attached to these characters. (This is, incidentally, the last regular All Stars movie where every heroine gets dialogue.) If you don't know them, you'll think it's loud, outrageous nonsense. The plot is basically "fight", although that said there's also comedy, emotion and sweet little moments. It also came out eight days after the Touhoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown, so had material removed for its cinema release.
It's epic. It's triumphant. It's got The Music (including a movie-only PreCure theme that's every bit as strong). It's sort of aiming at "dumb", but in a good way.