The latest Pokémon movie features many legendary Pokémon clashing, doughnuts as a plot device, a bottle as another plot device and a reference to the Battle Frontier story arc.
The film officially introduces Pokémon fans to the legendary Pokémon Hoopa (not counting a short side episode released prior to the film), while also featuring legendary Pokémon we’ve seen before (including but not limited to Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Kyurem, Lugia, Arceus, Latias and Latios among others).
Hoopa was a really interesting Pokémon that I would like to see more of outside of the movie. The character was full of humour and quips (though I felt the writers over-used one or two of the gags), enjoyed doughnuts and had some very interesting abilities. The ability to transport things (like people or objects) through its rings was interesting, while in its Unbound form (hidden in the shadow bottle) it was the opposite of its usual self as it was terrifying and powerful. These abilities made Hoopa a very interesting Pokémon to watch.
I have to confess, I was worried going into this movie that the writers had gone overboard with the number of legendary Pokémon and it would take away from viewers’ attention on the story-line. It turned out I couldn’t have been more wrong as all of them ended up adding to the story-line, though a few of the legendary Pokémon could’ve had more screen-time. The twist that having so many in one place affected time and space due to so many legendary Pokémon being summoned to appear in one place was an excellent idea and almost resulted in the destruction of Dahara City, so the legendary Pokémon did have an impact on the story which was a concern of mine going into the movie.
That said, I still would’ve preferred if it was just Groudon, Kyogre, Rayquaza and Hoopa as the legendary Pokémon like the original promotional material had seemingly being hinting at (I don’t have any problems with the others they featured but it would’ve been nice if it was just referencing the Hoenn region).
One area I feel the Pokémon movies struggle sometimes is the supporting characters, who usually only feature in the movie they appear in and don’t make any appearances in the main series. However, this movie used less supporting characters which I felt was better as we got to explore the characters in more detail. Both Baraz and Mirai were great supporting characters in the present and had a lot of depth and back-story, while the flashbacks revealing Ghris’ story were also great to watch as well. This movie definitely shows that having less supporting characters means you can develop the characters you do have more.
Ash, Serena, Clemont and Bonnie don’t have any particularly outstanding moments in the movie, but Ash’s dynamic with Hoopa was entertaining to watch. The standout moment for me with the main cast is when Ash gets taken over by Hoopa’s Unbound form (albeit briefly) which reminded me of when Ash was possessed by the King of Pokélantis in the Battle Frontier episode “Battling the Enemy Within”. I wish that we got to see more of Ash being controlled by Hoopa’s Unbound form as it felt like that scene wrapped up too quickly.
The battle between Hoopa and Hoopa’s Unbound form was really interesting to watch with all of the legendary Pokémon involved. I liked how the writers didn’t focus on the scale of the legendary Pokémon conflict and did keep the focus on Hoopa which I appreciated.
In my opinion, this was an excellent Pokémon movie. Hoopa was a really interesting new legendary Pokémon, but we also see a lot of other popular legendary Pokémon featured as well. The supporting characters were great and the battle Hoopa and its Unbound form was a really interesting battle to watch. The connection to “Battling the Enemy Within” was a really nice touch to the movie that I wish lasted longer.
My rating: 9/10
By Ruari Williamson
*The opinions in this article are those of the writer and do not represent the views of all of the Everything Geek Podcast staff*.