Movie Critics - The Panel: Latest and Lamest

By Lady Salamence and Layell. Art by Bummer.
« Previous Article Home Next Article »


Welcome to the final(?) installment of Movie Critics: The Panel! It has been several months since I got this stupid idea in my head, and the home stretch is finally done. We started off with three others, and now we're down to the two of us—Layell and myself, Lady Salamence.

As per usual, this article contains spoilers for the movies we've reviewed—Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice as well as Genesect and the Legend Awakened. With more movies on their way, it's entirely possible this series will pop up again eventually, but I think we've all had enough of the high-quality movies Nintendo puts out.

Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice

There's not even a bad guy in this movie. An upstart trainee decides he's going to skip all the levels and fight the final boss, who then goes into a rage for being woken up and lied to, and tries to track down the upstart. Of course, the trainee had already turned tail and ran the hell away, after seeing his mentors get frozen solid before his eyes. Due to the fact he can talk and that he bumped into the crew first, he manages to get Ash and friends on his side, despite being completely in the wrong. Then, Ash and friends attempt to actively subvert one of the most powerful Pokémon in the region, only to be left alone after sticking out their tongue and informing Kyurem he's a dumbass.

Meanwhile, Keldeo and Ash, a combination of the dumbest representatives of their respective species (or genus, or family, or order, or class, so on and so forth) head back to the scene of the crime, further proving that they are the true villains of the movie, and that a perpetrator always heads back to the scene of the crime.

Once there, they decide that Keldeo's truly screwed if Kyurem bothers coming home—for all they know, he's still picking off meat from Cilan's bones—so, the logical step is to bust the ice prison holding the three very people who told Keldeo what a horrible idea it was to go in the first place. Of course, they can't break the ice. Because that would be too easy.

Guess who shows up now? Kyurem, of course, to finish off what he started. What Kyurem didn't know, however, is that since Keldeo met Ash, he contracted a contagious disease from the trainer, which scientists have dubbed "Deus Ex Machina." That's right, Keldeo somehow suddenly becomes more powerful, and defeats the Pokémon that only 40 minutes ago trounced him into the ground. Once that happens, it's only natural that the ice prison breaks—now that he no longer needs assistance from those far superior to him, they are allowed to return to the plot. Of course, however, they return with praise and congratulations, as opposed to harsh words and rebuke.

But seriously, who even was the bad guy?

If you've ever wanted the mash-up of My Little Pony, the Three Musketeers, and some giant monster movie, then boy do I have a cinematic experience for you! We open with Keldeo in a training montage with Virizion. We see that Keldeo has learned much from the grass musketeer because he has learned to be friends with the grass. Like that's a big deal Keldeo, I did the same thing in kindergarten when the cool kids didn't let me in the sandbox. Anyways, Virizion proves she is a bad-ass by growing a giant sword out of her head and cutting away Keldeo's blasts. Keldeo sees her giant blade and decides to follow similar playground rules and go sword-to-sword. This never worked for me, as the kids in the sandpit would use stick guns, which I thought was blatantly unfair. In a gritty voice of determination, Keldeo yells for his sword horn to appear, and—wait a moment… that's the voice of Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist. Am I going to see any Full Metal Ponies any time soon? Well, apparently not because the Full Metal Pony cannot transmute his horn into any sort of sword. Virizion pulls the biggest smug face and asks if anything is wrong. Not cool, Virizion, not cool; some people just can't perform under pressure so who are you to judge if Keldeo needs some extra work to get his sword erect? Similar training occurs with Terrakion and Cobalion, and, if it isn't obvious already, Keldeo is playing in the little leagues compared to all of them. Apparently Keldeo just really wants to fight Kyurem. If this pony can't even handle some UU legendaries though, what hope is there against the great BL cover legend himself? Despite the best of warnings however, Keldeo faces off against Kyurem, worst of all calling himself a 'sword of justice,' and when the musketeers come and hear him say that, they can't help but shake their heads in disbelief. This battle has several hilarious factors like the water vs ice attacks, which I suppose is some sort of symbolism here, but just seems that nobody has any idea what they are doing. For an old dragon, Kyurem really enjoys jump kicking Keldeo and slicing his horn straight off! This is the sort of Poké-horror I can get behind! Just as Kyurem menacingly approaches to make this pony's body as asymmetrical as his own, the musketeers decide that standing around probably isn't a good idea. They make an effort to stop Kyurem from ending this film early, but Kyurem decides there are three too many legendaries in this film and so puts the musketeers on ice. Keldeo runs away like the pathetic miniature horse it is and is thrown into the canyon's abyss…

Well, the end. That was the best 15-minute film I've ever seen! They are playing the theme song because this is the end credits right? Wait, why is Ash talking now I thought this was over? Apparently Cilan wants to get novelty rice train station food, and Scraggy almost spills it all, then is late for the train. Anyways, My Little Pony decided to hop on this midday train going anywhere away from Kyurem, but like any cranky old guy, Kyurem will keep chasing those young hooligans and telling them to get off his lawn, even when they are on top of a frozen train now. You really get a sense of tension from this as Kyurem is about to flash freeze Ash, just as badly as the show's plot has frozen his growth and character development. Luckily for them, and not us, we get a random tunnel as this train railroads us to the next plot point. Nurse Joy heals Keldeo and explains who the swords of justice are. Now that Keldeo has useless meat bag Ash along, he decides they might be a tasty morsel for Kyurem over the swords of justice and allows them to come along.

But before much more plot can occur, Kyurem and his band of snowflakes decide to make a tribute to The Day After Tomorrow and Godzilla. I guess they wanted this film to be entirely about disasters! The problem with all the Cryogonal is that they are essentially just some conga line that somehow can find exactly where Ash and company are. Not even sure how that's possible but it is. So, because a subway station was transformed into a museum (don't even ask why anyone would since now you can't take the subway to it), they hijack a blimp that of course was still fueled up. Now the big secret is that Iris is just bait so Ash, Cilan, and Keldeo can escape. But instead of having any tension, we are shown they aren't together, and then there's a flashback explaining it. No we couldn't have had a surprise we had to explain everything clearly, thanks for telling me to ignore the next five minutes. The Cryogonal with their surprisingly buff 105 base Speed catch up to Iris, and when they see no pony they just leave. Well… talk about anticlimactic. I'd deep freeze that little punk for being that obnoxious. Kyurem knows how to handle it, though, and sends Iris crashing to her demise. RIP Iris you won't be missed. Then to bang this bait-and-switch over our heads again, they do it with Cilan as well, but this time with a train! Luckily, Cilan is also caught and quickly dies of frostbite-related injuries.

So we've found ourselves back to the first battle location and Ash does a heroic scene of trying to free the legendary trio from the ice with the help of all his Pokémon. Apparently an Ice Heal was out of the question, but this is certainly more dramatic. The Keldeo vs. Kyurem fight is good, and when you cut out most of the friendship crap, and talk about moves, it's one pony versus a pissed off dragon. My biggest complaint is the overuse of Double Team just because we've seen it in so many battles in the past, but hose hooves and giant sword horns are all great in my book. Too bad it ends so anticlimactically with Keldeo 'saving his friends' instead of slicing this ice cube dragon like he ought to, oh well.

Genesect and the Legend Awakened

This film has Genesect and race cars and gotta-go-fast so I'm expecting a lot of gotta-go-fast, and apparently so fast they forgot that the first film in this franchise even existed. What's troubling, though, is if a sequel only works on the basis that nobody watched the first film. What a wonderful way of looking at the Pokémon canon. This seems to be an entirely different Mewtwo even though a Mewtwo number two probably shouldn't exist. This one has a female voice as well so we know for sure it is in no way the same. Apparently Genesect and Mewtwo share some sort of connection because they are both genetic rejects. So that means in this plot they are villains, because we cannot have Pokémon possibly relate to each other.

Ash and company are apparently trying to relax, which means we aren't about to gotta-go-fast. Is this a zoo trip or a film where lab creatures go to race/kill each other? I'm really glad they do the exposition song with all the Pokémon because I cannot believe it, but I have officially lost track of who owns what Pokémon. This intro song commits a cardinal sin, however, of having talking over the song, why would you do that? I can't understand either now!

So now that Ash has gone to the action-packed hedge maze, he finds the poor Genesect all alone. Now this is sort of an action sequence where Ash tries to ride race car Genesect like a hoverboard. I guess those boards do work on water and have enough power! So Red Genesect comes and apparently has psychic mind control powers over the measly purple ones. That is new and apparently for dramatic tension, OK. Mewtwo saves the gang and apparently only cares about the safety of Pokémon, those humans can go choke for all she cares. Man, it's gonna be one of those self-discovery films isn't it? What a waste.

As if on cue, we get a torture section of Mewtwo that looks like it could have come from the torture-furry section of the adult video store. You know we could have cut this scene if we remembered that the first film exists, or just have Mewtwo go around and Psystrike everyone.

So now here is the actual plot tension. You see the Genesect built a giant nest in this zoo, and now the roots are on electrical wires. They could cause an explosion, somebody get a hedge trimmer! I'm glad this is why we are about to see a ton of violence. Feraligatr from the park knows how I feel and just starts banging on the dumb nest. Mewtwo then confronts the Genesect, and this is the battle we want! Oh wait no, my mistake. Instead of action, they just sort of run around and fire lasers into things that aren't each other. Although, Genesect does do one thing that looks like a fiery leg motion, so that is the reason we have an event Genesect with Blaze Kick! Even when the three purple Genesect team up on the one, it's more of a staring contest since they just stand and have laser beams collide with each other. When all the other Pokémon arrive, they just sort of yell. Even Feraligatr doesn't do anything, what the heck is going on here? Apparently, mind control is the only way to get fighting to start, well OK, but even with that the one Genesect is more concerned about a flower it likes getting wet! Luckily, when the lone nice Genesect gets killed violently trying to protect idiot Ash, the other Genesect don't bother waiting for the emotional song to finish to start firing lasers, good on them!

What was really satisfying was watching Mewtwo break all its morals and decide the Genesect don't deserve a second chance. Then plays the dirtiest fight so far, with racing and beams and everything. Too bad Mewtwo doesn't believe in saving public infrastructure, because she completely blasts the place, causing a forest fire on the Genesect base. They try to put it out, but maybe they shouldn't have been the sixth Bug/Steel type, maybe that was a mistake? Luckily, everyone understands each other now and works together to save the zoo, and live happily ever after! Oh, except for the part where Red Genesect disagrees and Mewtwo has to skyrocket him into freaking outer space so that she doesn't have to have anyone else listen to her sappy friendship monologue. Then they truly did live happily ever after!

Oh god why does Mewtwo have such a horrible voice actor? Why does Mewtwo not recognize the idiot that he (is it a she now?) killed a little over a decade ago? How does the red Genesect mind control? I wish these questions were answered.

Honestly, I'm not even sure what to say about this movie. It was completely bland, uneventful, and boring. I'd liken it to the basic idea of the Deoxys movie, where the bad guys (Genesect, Deoxys) are doing something that could normally be acceptable (looking for home, looking for friend), but in the process cause turbulence (ruin a park and endanger Pokémon, ruin a city and network system and endanger humans) until someone (Mewtwo, Rayquaza) come to save the day for whatever reason.

Mewtwo is such a weak character in this movie, too. There were so many questions left regarding Mewtwo, like why it didn't recognize Ash, why it didn't give a single care about humans after the monologue it gave a decade or so ago, and why Mewtwo asked them to forget about what happened, as opposed to wiping it from their mind.


And with that, it's all over. Thanks for those who stuck through the entire series, as we systematically insulted and degraded every Pokémon movie there ever was, and thanks as well to those who just read this article, or any of the prior ones.

It's sadly appropriate we end this series with another Mewtwo feature, and can we honestly say these films have improved much despite having made 16 of them? They are slowly but surely going to replace the Bond Films, as well as their vicious ignorance of any sort of continuity it seems. I, for one, am not sure if I'll ever get the pleasure to review another. To be honest, I don't even want to see another five minutes of this bland anime franchise for the rest of my life!

I think it's safe to say both Layell and myself wish to never have to view another Pokémon movie again, but with the new ones coming eventually, it's more a question of "When?" then it is a "Yes or no?"

« Previous Article Home Next Article »