Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town is 10 years old today. This means he is now old enough to become a Pokémon Trainer. Ash dreams big about the adventures he will experience after receiving his first Pokémon from Professor Oak.
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 ... See full summary »
Every year the citizens of Fura City celebrate a Wind Festival. Where people live together with the wind. Long Ago, on the final day of the festival the Legendary Pokemon Lugia and bestow the blessings of the wind upon the people. This Film Focuses on Everyone's Story. from Lisa, a high school girl who is just starting out as a Pokemon trainer, to Karachi, a guy who can't stop lying to Torito, a researcher who lacks confidence in himself, to Hisui, an old lady who hates touching Pokemon, and Rarugo, a mysterious young girl who watches over the forest by herself.Written by
Rashed Ali Alhosani
Being a life-time fan of Pokémon, games, anime, everything, I've seen all 21 movies, some being more exciting than others. You'd think after so many yearly installments, the formula would get tired. Well, it pains me to say: It has, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of enjoyable elements left to witness. For the most part, The Power of Us is an enormous improvement over I Choose You, which I thought was a very unfocused slog, as if multiple episodes of a TV show were slammed together into one incomprehensible narrative. Also what the heck was up with Pikachu TALKING to Ash. It came out of nowhere. Anyways, I digress. The Power of Us returns to the older Pokémon movie roots by focusing on single flowing story while showcasing the latest Legendary or Mythical Pokémon, which has some relevance to the plot. This is a concept that's been done to death with these movies, but at least it's easy to follow, and there's a handful of delightful characters with their own flaws to overcome.
Yes, I actually found some of these characters to be quite engaging and the film doesn't just abandon their efforts to improve themselves in favor of eye-popping spectacle (which previous Pokémon films have sadly done), it maintains focus, and for me that earns the film big points. I found Risa to be the most endearing supporting character, being a former athlete who is afraid to run again after sustaining an injury in the past, but with the support of her new Pokémon partner Eevee, she is able to fight this fear in order to help Ash save the city. Risa's arc was an interesting departure from the Pokémon movie formula because her dilemma felt very relatable, like out of a slice-of-life that Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, Wolf Children) would direct. The other character I really liked was Callahan. Some may see him as unlikable due to his insincere methods of impressing his niece, but there's one element that always debunks this perception for me: Love. He just loves his niece and wants to make her happy. Deny it all you want, we've all done petty things out of love before. This doesn't automatically make Callahan a bad guy. It was sweet to see this insecure man realize his faults and become a hero, all for his cute niece. I also really connected with Toren. I could totally sympathize with his type of awkward anxiety, it's something I've personally suffered with my entire life as an introvert and it caused me many hardships. It was revitalizing to see him gradually take his stand.
All that being said, some of the dialogue choices in this film were excessively hoaky and non-sensical. Some (said mostly by Ash) even made me cringe and sometimes face palm, as if I'm uttering "Come on, did he really just say that?". This is a recurring issue English dub of all anime suffers from and it really holds characters back from being memorable. I understand this is a kid's film first, and certainly I don't blame the voice actors whatsoever, they all did a brilliant job matching their vocals with the type of characters they're voicing and I hope their careers expand in the near future, but I do wish the English version of this film received a much stronger rewrite. Whatever's holding that type of progress back behind closed doors needs to get itself together and listen to feedback. I'm not the only one thinking this. Read forums, read YouTube comments. Clearly something needs to be improved and shouldn't require a neatly written appeal.
The visuals are breathtaking, and have been since the first Pokémon movie. I absolutely adore the designs of the forests and cities in the Pokémon world. They are so colorful and brimming with life, I just want to escape reality and reside in this universe with no worries on my back whatsoever. However, I do have one criticism of the art. There are some moments where CGI is implemented, and not only does it look awkward, but the use of it is very random and unbalanced. In a single shot, there will be some humans and Pokémon that are traditionally drawn, while some are 3D models, and it doesn't look right. It's very noticeable, redundant overall. The occasional 3D environments are understandable. They might not be rendered perfectly, but they're a lot less distracting than 3D people and Pokémon that show up out of the blue alongside flatter models. I just wanted to point out some lack of stylistic unity. If it isn't disturbing anybody else, I'll be amazed.
I think The Power of Us is one of the better Pokémon movies. The story (while not entirely original) is easy enough to follow, the characters have tons of likability and are very plucky and relatable (despite some problematic dialogue), and overall the film is just pleasing to eye (just watch out for those 3D models). A quick, colorful, and slightly endearing adventure that is sure to keep children and some of the more older fans of Pokémon entertained. If it's playing at a theater near you, I say get a ticket, but if you feel you'll be underwhelmed, I'm sure it'll play on Disney XD in a month or two. It's up to you!
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