I give the newest Pokemon movie...an 89/100!
Hey! This is my first time reviewing a Pokemon movie! This just premiered and I liked it so much, I thought maybe I'd take some time out of my busy schedule to review it since I haven't done any reviewing in a while. Surprisingly this happens to be one of the better Pokemon movies! Heck, I'd even argue that this one may be one of the best in a very long while! Besides, I'm kinda bored out of my mind so I thought I'd review this to pass some time a little. The story in itself is nothing new. A Pokemon named Keldeo (the blue, white, and red unicorn, who is oh so adorable!!) tries to become one of the Swords of Justice (pretty lame title, I know), a trio of Pokemon consisting of Virizion, Terrakion, and Cobalion. But to become one, he has to fight Kyurem, the ice-type dragon. But things go bad during battle, and Keldeo winds up running into Ash and the gang. They have to save the trio of Pokemon and in the process, Keldeo learns things about himself.
Yeah yeah, we've all heard this story before. It's old as dirt, and this movie is no different. However, I must sing lots of praises for this movie, as it's very VERY different from the other Pokemon movies. The best thing? Keldeo himself is the main character, and only he gets the spotlight! Ash doesn't hog the glory or become some sort of chosen one or dumb stuff like that! Nope nope nope! Not in this movie! Ash and his friends are just supporting characters, and the movie is basically Keldeo's character arc. None of the movies before this one pulled such a daring move, and I love it! What a breath of fresh air, as usually the main character in the show/movie always has to hog the spotlight according to the creator's wishes, which really sucks, as there's no need to focus more on the characters in the show when there's plenty of time for that in the actual show. But here? This movie's all about Keldeo, and he receives a lot of character development (and very convincing development at that) here, and believe me when I say here, he's a VERY well-developed Pokemon. Probably the most well developed in a very long while. What also makes this movie drastically different from the rest of the movies is that FOR ONCE it is NOT ABOUT SAVING THE WORLD!! There's no villain out to destroy the world, there's no prophecy, or anything like that! Kyurem may look and act like a villain, but he isn't really a villain. He's just a Pokemon just like the rest of them, and he actually has some sense! There's no pointless saving the world plot. The movie is simply about growing up, confronting fear, making mistakes and fixing them, and overcoming obstacles. It's as simple as that...and simple is exactly what this movie needed!
While it definitely is great, it does have it's flaws. For me, the most jarring flaw is in its animation. For some reason, the humans' faces looked really distorted, particularly Iris when scenes focused on her. She looked like someone tried to draw a face with a paralyzed hand at various points. The CG can clearly be seen in this movie, and it's rather intrusive. Plus, one nameless character who only appears in the beginning has REALLY WEIRD hair, and it just freaked me out to no end. But that character didn't appear again, as she isn't important to the story. Yes! This is also the first Pokemon movie in which there's no movie-only human supporting character! What a huge breath of fresh air, as I was getting tired of those! But while this movie does subvert a heck of a lot of traditional Pokemon movie cliches, as its own standalone film, it's still a big cliche storm in itself, and the story it tells isn't something original. But considering that this is a huge subversion of Pokemon movie cliches, I can forgive it. Also, Swords of Justice? Really? What kind of cliche and redundant name is that?! Plus the trio themselves aren't really swords, and I don't think they should be called swords from the way they use their attacks! They're more like glowing horns!
I've recently been watching Suede, Linkara, and JewWario review the Pokemon movies on That Guy With The Glasses, and a lot of things they point out are things I never noticed before when I was a child watching them. Well, it's been a long time since I actually saw the movies, and I do have few memories of the earlier movies, so I guess that could be it. But man, they're totally right! The morals in the early movies are so ambiguous and hopelessly confused! But that's because of 4Kids Entertainment's adaptations of them, trying to make them more accessible to kids. The morals in this more are simple, subtle and aren't shoved down your throat, even though they're still there lingering in the background, the dialogue, and animation, and it didn't need some pointless and extraneous save the world from a great evil villain plot to convey these messages. Heck, this is the kind of movie we should be showing to our kids to teach them what's really important, not the earlier Pokemon movies and their ham-handed morals and messages!
All in all, while it isn't anything new, it breaks away from the stereotypes associated with Pokemon movies and tells its own simple story without trying too hard, and it stands on its own hooves with gusto, and I love it for that! Also, Vic Mignogna voices Keldeo. Can you believe it?! But I think it makes him all the more adorable! He's voicing a cute little unicorn pony who shoots water from its hooves and break dances while attacking! How can you not love that?! I want to hug that little unicorn!