When Ash, Pikachu, and their friends visit a desert city by the sea, they meet the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa, who has the ability to summon things-including people and Pokémon-through its ...
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During their travels through the Unova region, Ash and his friends Iris and Cilan arrive in Eindoak Town, built around a castle called the Sword of the Vale. The three Trainers have come to... See full summary »
Arceus, creator of the world, comes to pass judgement on humanity for the theft of the Jewel of Life, but Ash Ketchum and his friends are sent back in time to discover and possible reverse the events that led to Arceus' vendetta.
An idyllic town is thrown into chaos when two powerful Pokémon, Dialga and Palkia, cross paths and battle, distorting the dimensions of time and space. The only hope comes from Darkrai, a shadowy Pokémon shunned by the townsfolk.
When Ash, Pikachu, and their friends visit a desert city by the sea, they meet the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa, who has the ability to summon things-including people and Pokémon-through its magic ring. After a scary incident, they learn a story about a brave hero who stopped the rampage of a terrifying Pokémon long ago. Now, the threat that has been bottled up for years is in danger of breaking loose again! Can Ash help his new friend overcome the darkness within...or will a dangerous secret erupt into a clash of legends?Written by
If you've seen any of the other seventeen(!) Pokémon movies (and if you haven't, stop reading this, and get thee to the Mewtwo!), Hoopa and the Clash of Ages won't hold a single surprise. The franchise has its formula of scant story, frantic melodrama, and epic, destructive battles anchored on teasing a new legendary Pokémon pre- international gaming release down to a science, and Hoopa isn't one to rock the Poké- ball. More discerning adult viewers might find this staunch formula irritatingly lazy by this point, but it's hard to overrule the abiding thrill of hearing that theme music kick in once again for fans young and old. Hoopa and the Clash of Ages may be one of the more forgettable entries into the Poké-pantheon, but the fun force is still strong with it, making it a daft but pleasant enough way to while away 70 minutes.
Standouts within the past crop of Pokémon films are usually determined by moments that are iconically epic (holla Mewtwo and Lugia, circa-2000), or deliriously surreal ("YOU. ARE. MAMA!"). If anything in Hoopa and the Clash of Ages stands the test of time, it'll be the glut of (almost) every Gen II-V legendary Pokémon it conjures up for its battle royale - which, being a nod to their transportation by Hoopa ring in the ORAS games, doesn't even feel excessively gratuitous. It's wise to share the spotlight, as Hoopa itself is far too irritating, awkwardly voiced, and thinly drawn (in both tiny, impish and massive, sh*t-destroying forms) to anchor and entire movie on otherwise. Still, its teleportation-fuelled mayhem is quite fun to watch, owing a debt to the portal-spamming Blink from X-Men: Days of Future Past (who was probably the highlight of that movie as well). Watching gigantic Hoopa Unbound grappling with its teleporting six arms against a tag-team of Lugia and Mega Rayquaza, smashing across a city skyline? About as awesome as it sounds.
As with its predecessors, Hoopa's animation is a step up from the show's calibre, and its realm of pseudo Middle Eastern desert temples turned technological oases are impressively etched with detail. But, with the trumped up production values come storytelling and voice acting several steps below par. Apart from Hoopa's infuriating chirping, the English dub of each of the core humans are dopily flat, especially Ash, who sounds more like a placid middle-aged woman than ever here, and James, whose replacement voice actor is cringeworthy. Mee-ouch.
Story-wise, Hoopa's weird, schizophrenic disembodied rage "shadow- self" and dubious, cultist spirituality/magic subplots are treated so disposably, it's hard to imagine even the screenwriters not laughing them off as transparently nonsense. There's little of the show's zany humour, which is a bummer (even Team Rocket's requisite flyby has never been staler). Similarly, the geography is fairly stationary, which restricts the "Who's that Pokémon?" background cameos, though a climactic appearance by an adorably heroic Hippopotas goes a long way. But a final battle against a disembodied rift in space/time (which, lazily, doesn't even seem to have anything to do with Dialga and Palkia, who are right there, nonsensically shooting energy beams into it trying to stop it)? Sure.
Whether Hoopa and the Clash of Ages is worth its weight in Pokéblocks will depend on the viewer's tolerance for the unyielding Pokéformula. It's a lot of nostalgic fun for indulgent Pokéfans (though monstrous Hoopa Unbound verges on being too scary for young kids), but liable to the leave the uninitiated wishing they could borrow a Hoopa ring to disappear into a different movie. But, let's be honest: as Hoopa queries ad nauseum, "Were you surprised?"
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