A Pokémon movie building on GEN IV hype and based on one of the most popular Pokémon of all time. Is it an underrated gem or another stinker?
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It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a Pokémon movie, hasn’t it? Honestly, it’s been hectic for me as of late so I barely have any time to work on any new reviews even though I had a lot of potential material just sitting around and taking up my hard drive’s capacity.
Nevertheless, more Pokémon time. I guess it’s fitting seeing as how Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon have recently been announced, so we’re back to that annoying pre-hype stage again. At this point, I’m just hoping Generation VII is much better than the previous generation (because it sucked).
But we’re going back to the past, particularly Generation III slowly transitioning to Generation IV.
Today, we are going to look at another fan favorite Pokémon film. Can you guess why it’s a fan favorite?
Yep. Behold, one of the most popular Pokémon characters of all time: Lucario.
And I mean it. It’s hard NOT to see this character in anything related to Pokémon:
- Many different Lucario appear in the anime series.
- You receive a Riolu egg from Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum later in the game.
- You can capture a Riolu very early in Pokémon Black 2/White 2.
- You get a free Lucario, along with its Mega Stone, in Pokémon X/Y.
- Lucario replaces Mewtwo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and is also a playable character for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS.
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team/Blue Rescue Team, in spite of being spinoff games based on Generation III Pokémon, refers to a Lucario as the greatest rescue leader in his time. The highest rank, the Lucario rank, is named in his honor. You can also acquire a decorative statue of Lucario for your base.
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky and Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon allows you to select Riolu as a playable character.
- Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia has a Lucario as a guardian of one of the mystic gems in the game, being the only non-legendary Pokémon to carry the role.
- Pokkén Tournament has a Lucario as a playable character.
Needless to say, Lucario is a walking promotional plugin in the same vein as Pikachu. Its popularity pretty much helps carry the weight of Generation IV. This movie is no exception.
And well, look at it. It’s pretty boss. A bipedal jackal with spikes, a face that looks like a Zorro mask, and wearing puffy shorts who beats the shit out of you if you come too close and shoots energy blasts like it’s DBZ. Who doesn’t think of the Kamehameha Wave when Lucario uses its Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl?
So far, I didn’t like any of the Advanced Generation movies. Even when compared to the previous movies, I felt both Jirachi Wish Maker and Destiny Deoxys were exceptionally poor. And yeah, I really shouldn’t expect a whole lot from a Pokémon movie. For the most part, Pokémon was targeted towards young children and was meant to be brain-rotting entertainment. It wasn’t striving for good writing. It was meant to be fun enough so that you’ll keep buying video games, toys, trading cards, DVDs, etc.
There’s nothing wrong with being fun, but is it really too much to ask that the people producing the merchandise put more effort in telling a good story too? I mean, there is only so much speed lines and corny catchphrases you can throw out there before it all becomes self-indulgent and tiresome garbage.
In the case of these movies, it’s more of lazy writing and failure to keep a consistent story.
Well, let’s hope this movie is worth something.
Lucario and the Mystery of Mew begins with yet ANOTHER intro talking about the Pokémon world. As if we didn’t have enough of those already. You know what? Skip it. I’m done. Those intros can go fuck themselves.
So interestingly enough, the story begins in an ancient period “before the existence of Poké Balls.” And damn, does it look gritty.
…I didn’t know Ho-oh was supposed to be in this movie. I thought there was supposed to be a Mew.
It doesn’t take long before we see one of our headliners, the masked jackal himself.
Lucario: Aura is with me…
…Classic. Yet another Pokémon that isn’t a psychic type speaking… without its mouth moving. Because consistency is for the weak.
Lucario uses what appears to be Eagle Vision from the Assassin’s Creed games, allowing him to see…
That is a FUCKING AWESOME concept!
Yes, this is really happening. Two Pokémon armies about to clash in this dark, war-stricken environment. This is the kind of innovation I was hoping for in this stale franchise! It doesn’t have to be gory and over-the-top like 3o0, but by god this idea needs to be nurtured!
And also, did you notice the two armies are Red vs. Green? As in, the original Pokémon games released in Japan? I’m not gonna lie. I like that subtle reference.
It’s like they crossed Pokémon with Fire Emblem. Someone needs to patent this idea!
Ahem… losing my cool already.
Lucario watches Ho-oh fly overhead until he gets ambushed by a Houndoom wearing a red garb. After fleeing to a safe distance, Lucario comes across a random crystal and uses it to transmit a message.
At a castle, Zorro—I mean, Sir Aaron—receives the message from another crystal.
Lucario: Sir Aaron, please!
Sir Aaron: What’s the matter, Lucario?
Lucario: The two armies are about to clash, Master. And our kingdom is caught between them. Once the fighting starts, we’ll all be destroyed.
I should note that Lucario is voiced by Sean Schemmel, whose best-known anime role is Goku in Dragon Ball Z. It’s hard to tell really, because Lucario’s voice kinda sounds like the Christian Bale Batman from the Dark Knight trilogy.
…Well, this makes Lucario’s Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl more relevant, does it?
Eventually, the pack of red-garbed Houndoom finds Lucario and chases him down.
And we get a cool brief battle, which ends with Lucario wiping the floor with them. I wish there is more, but good enough for a later Pokémon movie I suppose.
Meanwhile, Sir Aaron converses with Queen Rin, who volunteers to stay behind at her castle. Much to Aaron’s dismay, he raises a crystal scepter to summon a Pidgeot and takes to the skies.
Aaron and Pidgeot get ambushed by a group of hostile Skarmory, causing Aaron to land somewhere. Lucario meets with him.
Lucario: I knew you’d come!
Sir Aaron: Lucario, what happened to your eyes?
Lucario: Don’t worry about me, Master!
Sir Aaron: Don’t call me that. I’m no longer your Master. I have abandoned the queen and the kingdom. I’ll never return.
Lucario: But that’s impossible.
Sir Aaron attempts to flee while Lucario follows suit, but Aaron throws down his scepter to the ground which imprisons Lucario inside.
Lucario watches as his former Master flees, screaming why.
Queen Rin watches an enormous tree called the Tree of Beginning from afar, which emits a strange wail. And soon, the land turns into a battlefield.
Inside the Tree of Beginning, we see Ho-oh…
What was the point of Mew transforming into a copy of Ho-oh? It didn’t exactly help with the scene or anything.
And I stand by my statement. I want to see more of this awesomeness.
Sir Aaron’s Pidgeot delivers the crystal scepter to Queen Rin. The land erupts in a strange green light, which is caused by the Tree of Beginning. The clashing armies cease fighting and Queen Rin looks on at the tree, breaking down in tears, realizing it was Sir Aaron’s doing.
*takes a deep breath*
…Ready to be disappointed?
It was all a story.
Mother: And that is why Sir Aaron will forever be remembered as the true guardian of Aura.
The “great” thing: the mother and daughter never appear in the movie again. You know, if you’re going to hand the reins of the story to Ash Ketchum anyway, why not get him and his friends to be reading the story to begin with? I mean, what was even the point?
But what is even more baffling is that the mother and daughter make a ton of cameos in later movies after this one. No, seriously, look it up. Just… why…? Why is this a running gag anyway?
But aside from that little ending twist, that whole segment was great. It was well paced, it foreshadowed a greater conflict to come, and… it just lets the whole thing play out with minimal exposition. Those scenes with Sir Aaron and Lucario immediately established their relationship, which ended in the betrayal of Lucario’s trust. Sir Aaron sacrificed this friendship to protect Lucario and the rest of the land.
…I’m shocked. This character complexity in just 10 minutes is actually done well, considering it’s Pokémon of all things. This is exactly what these movies need!
And I’m serious. We need more medieval-era Pokémon! Make it happen!
Uuuuuuuhhh… nooo… nooo… just… no.
So much to my disappointment, the movie gets worse from here on out.
Well, it was fun while it lasted I guess.
So we get a fair shot of a castle as the movie shows off its CGI and the narrator explains what is happening.
Narrator: As Ash continues his quest to become a Pokémon Master, he and his friends arrive at Cameron Palace. The kingdom is holding a festival in honor of their legendary hero Sir Aaron. And the main event will be a Pokémon competition. Trainers have come from near and far to compete, and the winner will be dubbed as this year’s Guardian of the Aura.
Oh god, why. Why does a great idea need to be wasted on the likes of boring, bland Ash Ketchum?
So yeah… apparently, Cameran Palace is in the Kanto region—the reason being that it is a convenient location while Ash and his friends explore the Kanto region AGAIN to conquer the Battle Frontier, which Ash apparently didn’t know about in his previous journey in Kanto. It’s a season perfectly suited for cameos referring to the first season of the whole anime, and it didn’t even take that initiative.
Do you see why I don’t watch the anime anymore? Just one wasted potential after another.
Side rant aside, it’s confusing that a palace based on a German castle is suddenly in the Kanto region, a whole section of land based on the real-life Kanto in Japan. And that 10-minute segment in the movie had a queen with a Ye Olde English accent.
Again, a consistency issue. It’s like saying the Chinese descended from the British or that the Dutch descended from the Indians. WHO WRITES THESE SCRIPTS?
Anyways, there just so happens to be a Pokémon battle competition at Cameran Palace, which seems to be an awfully convenient excuse to put Ash Ketchum into the movie. Because he LOVES battles, even when he just outright sucks at them.
Seriously, half of these movies so far either start with some sort of competition or festival, which was hardly referenced again.
Meanwhile, a stray Taillow flies around the castle while the movie continues to show off more of its CGI, which is already losing its novelty. The Taillow suddenly transforms into a Pichu and enters the castle.
Oh gee. I wonder who that was.
“Our heroes” are already in one of the castle’s dressing rooms, admiring the costumes. And of course, Ash’s Pikachu has an encounter with the Pichu, who is showing off more of its shapeshifting ability and just fucks off.
Then “our heroes” are playing dressup.
Can we go back to the ancient Pokémon war scene? I am much more invested into that than this crap going on.
Someone kill me please…
As soon as that ends, Team Rocket bust in and decide they must enter the contest too. Behold, the height of thievery! Such badassery must be witnessed at its full glory!
Ask and you shall receive. Maybe.
So the contest begins and we see that it was hosted by a woman who looks very similar to Queen Rin from the flashback. Her name is Lady Ilene and she just so happens to be the descendent of Rin, with very minor differences in appearance. Fantastic.
So Lady Ilene makes her little beginning speech and then you’re suddenly hit with a pop group going ohh oh-oh-oh oh-oh!
Talk about a whiplash-inducing transition.
So the intro song “Unbeatable” plays throughout the tournament battles. Funnily enough, when you read the lyrics to this song, you just realize how horribly inaccurate it is to Ash’s character. I mean, for every win he gets in the anime, he also suffers at least two more embarrassing losses.
Pft. My ass is unbeatable.
The battles themselves look okay, but they’re very brief, one-sided beatdowns. In fact, Ash’s Pikachu pretty much summoned the mother of all thunderbolts and fried the shit out of this enemy Weavile. It’s like Goku summoning all his rage and brings it all crashing down in one fell stroke. Talk about overkill.
He’s dead, people. That Weavile is fucking dead.
So the horrible intro song ends and Ash celebrates his victory as he’s crowned “Guardian for the Year.” Whatever the fuck that means.
Ash’s opponent takes off his helmet to reveal…
Oh. It’s Samus.
No, her name is actually Kidd. Good to know, I guess.
LATER THAT NIGHT!
Ash attends a little ceremony where Lady Ilene presents him the staff of Sir Aaron, a fabled treasure of the kingdom.
And we also get… CGI ballroom dancing. I don’t know about you guys but this stuff is so absolutely necessary. The rest of the movie should just be a reenactment of Swan Lake using Pokémon. Certainly a work of art, this movie.
Blegh. I’ve seen Walmart commercials more worth my time.
Meanwhile, the mysterious woman named Kidd sneaks off the dance floor and communicates with some unknown man from faraway. She reveals that she’s hunting down a Mew in the area, though for an unknown purpose. The whole scene was witnessed by Team Rocket’s Meowth, who was previously trying to spy on the twerps’ Pokémon.
Oh boy, an extraneous character-of-the-day who turns out to be a secret agent. Haven’t seen… one of those before…
Yep. None whatsoever.
And lady, you have a really stupid hairstyle. I mean, Jesus, honey, how do you keep them afloat?
Hmm, she kinda has a nice ass.
Meanwhile, we cut to the Pokémon of “our heroes,” who have been released from their Poké Balls to have fun. A mysterious Aipom leads them to a random attic (which is pretty fucking tiny considering it’s inside a historical castle). And whaddya know. More pointless hijinks banking off on their cutesiness.
OLM’s budget money at work.
Ash’s Pikachu learns that this Aipom can apparently shapeshift, so it changes form into a Pikachu. But let’s not throw a fit over it. LET’S DANCE!
Oh hell. If I were to tell anyone that this scene was in the same movie as that beginning war flashback, they would think I’m fucking nuts.
Or nucking futs. Or… or… what was I talking about again?
Sorry, but this crappy filler is just not doing it for me. I say we just get the plot rolling so I can finish this damn review.
Okay, here is something. But seriously though, what is with anime and proportionately impossible hairstyles? Shouldn’t she at least trim her hair if she’s going out to pull dangerous Assassin’s Creed style stunts?
Meowth, in his attempt to eavesdrop on her once again, somehow falls off a roof and crashes through the window of the same attic that the Pokémon of “our heroes” are in.
Ooooof. That, he did not deserve.
The other Pokémon are concerned with his well-being and…
Oh, you got me there, movie. I never would have guessed that the shapeshifting Pokémon was Mew the whole time… EXCEPT YOU INDICATED IT’S IN THE MOVIE THROUGH THE FUCKING TITLE!
But Kidd has other plans. How the hell did she find the ever-so-illusive Mew so fast? It was never shown that she was able to track it down. In fact, she sent her Weavile in specifically to put a tracking device on Mew right then and there.
Well, that certainly didn’t come plot savvy out of thin air at all.
Meowth regains consciousness, but then Kidd’s two Weavile ambush Mew in an attempt to attach the tracking device. However, Pikachu isn’t having their shit so he decides to fight back. Mew, on the other hand, is just dicking around as if the whole thing were a game.
By the way, did you always wanted to know how powerful Pikachu’s electric attacks were?
Apparently, powerful enough to equal the Ice Beams of two Weavile.
But then an explosion erupts and just knocks out Pikachu immediately. And this has no effect on either of the Weavile whatsoever. Well, so much for being the God of all Pikachu. Ash’s Pikachu, you have certainly fallen from grace.
But Mew saves their asses and teleports them outside, leaving the other Pokémon behind… frozen into blocks of ice by the Weavile…
I guess this would be taking one for the team. Or in this case, several.
So Kidd misses her chance and… blames her Weavile for it.
Kidd: I should send you both to obedience school.
Bitch, I don’t see you doing anything here. You went all Batman outside on the rooftops. You go plant the device if you think it’s so easy.
Meanwhile, Ash Ketchum stares down at the staff of Sir Aaron, given no chance to have fun on his own. Nope, he has to sit still and spectate the ballroom dancers. Holding a centuries-old staff is apparently reward enough to justify winning a tournament.
What a lame tournament prize.
But Ash hears a strange voice coming from the staff, but can’t for the life of him figure out what it is. Fireworks set off outside of the palace while Ash holds the staff in a goofy fashion, giving the spirit inside the staff a good enough view of him to go berserk.
…You read right.
The staff of Sir Aaron suddenly glows and the Lucario from hundreds of years ago was accidentally released.
So if Lucario could do that this whole time, why didn’t he? What exactly triggered the staff?
…Let me guess. It’s Ash. Fucking hell…
Indeed, Lucario confronted Ash, somehow mistaking a 10-year old boy with a 10-year old boy’s voice for a grown man.
…Um, maybe you should… I don’t know… open your eyes, Lucario?
And indeed, he did. Lucario opens his eyes, realizing Ash is not who he thought he was. He runs outside of the palace, completely confused about his whereabouts and the festivities going on.
Lucario then wanders into a garden, where he receives a flashback of Sir Aaron first taking him as an apprentice of aura manipulation. The flashback suddenly ends when he notices that the palace looks very different from what he remembered.
But completely out of nowhere, “our heroes” and Lady Ilene approach Lucario from behind and tell him the shocking truth.
Everyone… everything I know… it’s all gone…
Understandably, Lucario is horrified. He tells Lady Ilene about how the two Pokémon armies in the past seemingly will destroy everything around them, including Cameran Palace. However, Lady Ilene tells him that Sir Aaron managed to save the palace somehow. Lucario is confused, still thinking that his master betrayed the queen from the past as well as imprisoning him.
In conclusion, Lady Ilene lets Lucario know that the palace still remains his home and is welcome to stay as long as he likes.
You know, I just realized. What happened to everyone in the palace? There was a whole ballroom of people just a while ago and now they’re just gone. Did Lady Ilene just shoo them away? What a party pooper.
Ash: Lucario. How come you think I was Sir Aaron?
Ash: Is it cuz this costume makes me look like him?
Lucario: No. The aura I sensed in you is like Sir Aaron’s.
And there it is, the one excuse that gives Ash any importance in this flick aside from being the main protagonist! Fucking spotlight thief, always trying to eclipse out other characters. You can never ignore him in these movies.
But then Max, May’s annoying shitstain of a little brother, comes running into the palace and tells everyone that he saw a Mew and that Pikachu disappeared. Because the anime series established him as this uber geek with a godlike knowledge of Pokémon, he can immediately identify one on the spot.
Well, at least he’s not as annoying in this movie as in Jirachi Wish Maker. Thank the high and mighty Arceus for that.
You know, maybe I didn’t give Mewtwo Strikes Back enough credit. Even when it objectively wasn’t a good flick, at least it had a sense of mystery and wonder surrounding both Mewtwo and Mew.
In this movie, it’s all, “Hey, guys. There’s a Mew. Go check it out.” Like it’s common knowledge. Hmm, legendary in name only. Kinda sucks the fun out, huh?
Max is surprised by Lucario’s presence (as well as the fact that he could speak using telepathy).
Max: So, who are you?
Brock: Oh, this is Lucario. A Pokémon who was sealed inside of this staff of the guardian. Somehow, we managed to set it free.
Hahaha… I just love how cheerful Brock seemed when he delivered that line. It’s like he doesn’t realize what he’s saying is so outlandish as if he’s not surprised it happened. Or maybe he DOES know it’s insane, but just plays along anyway just to fuck with Max.
Ah, Brock. You walking meme you. Don’t ever change.
But things get even more outlandish as Kidd enters the room and literally tells everyone that she was just on the roof of the palace, spying on Mew and taking Pikachu and Meowth away. As a “pigeon.”
Um, that would be “Pidgeot,” 4Kids. I’m glad this is your last dubbed Pokémon movie, because I would be afraid of you making another xenophobic National Anthem video starring Japanese cartoon characters singing badly.
And for those of you who just clicked that link… enjoy the amount of cringe you will experience in your nightmares now.
Ash: But why would Mew take them away?
Well, that’s a legit question. If it were me, my question would’ve been, “What were you doing on the roof of a palace? Do you have a death wish, lady?”
Jenny: It was probably playing.
Queen Ilene: Mew has a tradition of showing up here in the palace to play games and make mischief.
Jenny: It disappears with toys all the time, and they’re never to be seen again.
Am I the only one who feels like that this Mew was photoshopped into this painting? It just feels so out of place with its bright pink presence against a bright green background.
So “our heroes” are considering a rescue mission, while Team Rocket was listening in while hidden from view.
By the way, the movie doesn’t stop utilizing CGI everywhere. Even when you see the characters coming outside in this one particular scene, it looks oddly unnatural. Like they’re puppets being forced to walk on a trampoline.
Lady Ilene leads the group to a view of Yggdrasil—I mean, the Mana Tree—I MEAN, the Tree of Beginning. Apparently, that is where Mew resides. And how does she know this? I guess ginormous trees are just an obvious place to find legendary Pokémon.
But doesn’t it look like the Mana Tree from Secret of Mana, though? I mean, it’s a giant, ancient tree with a ton of overgrowth and apparently has a lot of magical power (in this movie’s case, it’s aura).
Lady Ilene: You must remember that Mew can change its form to look like any Pokémon in the world. It rarely shows its true form to humans so you may have trouble recognizing it.
Come to think of it, this is the second Pokémon movie that stars Mew. And the Mew in Mewtwo Strikes Back had never changed form either, so it’s actually interesting to see it use the move Transform in this movie.
And just in case you’re wondering if this is the same exact Mew from the first movie… nope. It isn’t. Kinda lame.
But because of Mew’s illusiveness, Lady Ilene recruits Lucario to lead “our heroes” to the Tree of Beginning and locate Mew through its aura. Lucario agrees like the true knight he is.
But as soon as Kidd walks into the conversation, Brock freaks out and refers to as Kidd Summers while having a fanboy orgasm. Apparently, Kidd Summers is a celebrity best known for setting the world record for setting the most world records. She’s so perfect that she accomplished more than a human being could hope to ever achieve in three lifetimes. So she’s pretty much Phillip J. Fry, the original Martian.
And I guess she never grows out of that stupid hairstyle either.
You know, I would probably care that this literal Mary Sue is in the movie if it weren’t for the fact that her character lacks any depth whatsoever. I mean, at first the movie seems to show her as a potential villain with overall shady behavior, but now she’s just kinda shoved to supporting role despite that she’s an apparent badass.
Kidd: I came here to explore the Tree of Beginning and solve the mystery of what it really is. Yet another first for me.
Brock: And I can help you.
Kidd: That’s okay with me, as long as you don’t get in my way.
Brock: Yessir, ma’am!
Oh, don’t worry, Miss Summers. If anything, you would be the one getting in the way of “our heroes.” The movie’s script saw to that.
Meanwhile, Lucario enters Cameran Palace and looks upon the painting of his former master. Someone else walks in and Lucario puts him into a headlock.
Surprise! It’s Ash!
And that’s fine with me. That little twerp needs a good tap in the head once in a while. Or in this case, some asphyxiation. Maybe it will finally wake up his brain cells.
Lucario: You snuck up behind me. That is always a mistake.
Ash: Hey, Lucario. I’m really glad you’re coming along to help me find Pikachu.
Lucario: This Pikachu. Are you its master?
Ash: Master? Oh-ho-ho. You kidding? No, Pikachu and I are best friends.
Ash: If one of your friends was lost, you would want to bring them back too, wouldn’t ya?
Lucario: I don’t have any friends. And I don’t want any. *walks away*
Ash: Nice attitude…
Yeah, you tell him, Ash. It’s not like you haven’t been an asshole in your li—waaaaait.
Oddly enough, I do like the direction that the movie is going with Lucario’s character. While he was previously loyal to Queen Rin in the past, his closest friend at the time was none other than Sir Aaron. And Sir Aaron told Lucario that he betrayed the queen and he sealed the Pokémon into his staff.
While the Pokémon anime had addressed abandonment themes multiple times, this particular issue was unique for the series at the time. Sir Aaron wasn’t just Lucario’s trainer, but rather his master while Lucario was the student. Overall, the two saw each other as equals. Partners in crime.
And understandably, Lucario was still hurt about Sir Aaron leaving him and allegedly betraying his trust. So he attempted to close himself off from others while still retaining his loyalty to the royal bloodline of Cameran Palace.
Unfortunately though, the movie’s plot isn’t nearly as interesting. We’re pretty much halfway done with the movie and the closest thing to a plot thread that we have is to find Pikachu and Meowth, who have been carried away by Mew.
So that makes Mew the antagonist, right? Actually, no. The Mew hadn’t done anything particularly harmful and was described as mischievous.
So, here’s where we are: Ash has a stake in this plot because of Pikachu. Team Rocket has a stake because of Meowth. Kidd Summers has a stake because of Mew (though who gives a shit about her, she doesn’t have real problems). Lucario has no stake in this yet. He’s just following orders, and he’s the most interesting character in the movie.
And this isn’t the first time Ash and Pikachu got separated either. Same with Meowth from Jessie and James. So basically, you’re just looking at a recycled plot of the anime series somehow stretched into a feature-length film.
Why do I even bother.
So while driving to the Tree of Beginning, Kidd tells “our heroes” about what aura is and how it’s the lifeforce of everything and yadda yadda yadda. We’ve literally seen this plot point a hundred times in fantasy RPGs and cartoons.
And Lucario can use his aura vision to detect even the ground and rocks up ahead, at places where vision is obscured. For instance, the foggy environment everyone is in now. Cool, I guess.
May: So would it mean if Ash and Sir Aaron really are alike…
Max: Ash could control aura too!
Ahhhhhh… keep blowing that ego, baby.
I think I know where this is headed since they brought that up.
And I don’t want to.
So we cut to Mew, Pikachu and Meowth, who are safe deep inside of the mountains of the Tree of Beginning. Thanks for showing us that they’re alright, movie. I was half-expecting them to make a dangerous encounter with a giant green dick from the sky.
And seriously, this imagery is all too familiar to me. Oh, that does it. I’m playing Secret of Mana music now.
Ahhhh… much better.
So with that brief scene done, it’s lunchtime! And hijinks. A Generation IV plugin eats Brock’s lunch. Ha ha.
Don’t make me use my frying pan as a dying pan now…
Of course, the little Bonsly tries to make off with the lunch but Lucario takes it away and scolds it, then lets it off easily by giving it a wild berry.
I have to admit though, it is a nice touch to Lucario’s character. Though he is a dutiful loner who now despises Sir Aaron, this short demonstration of a gentler side shines through.
We cut back to Mew, Pikachu, and Meowth. Pikachu had woken from his long slumber… literally by the drop of a leaf. We spent a cutesy moment with Mew and Pikachu and even Meowth is enjoying himself for a short time. But being the most accident prone cat in the world, of course he stumbles upon a random portal to a strange world in a knothole.
And… yeah. I have no idea where they’re at. I guess they’re riding on the Tree of Beginning’s cells or something. What else could they be?
Of course, they managed to escape and laid eyes on some beautiful mountainous landscape.
Ooh yeah, baby. Dat scenery porn~
I’m half-expecting the Paramount logo to pop up now.
Hmm. Okay. So what was the point of that scene?
Meanwhile, “our heroes” have stumbled upon a new obstacle: a bunch of geysers. And behind door number 2, there’s a hot spring. Hmm…
Umm, guys? You know you’re still on a rescue mission now, right?
I honestly have no idea what the fuck they’re doing. I guess there had to be an excuse for some prepubescent fanservice that is not at a beach. Case in point…
Y-yeah, the plot thickens indeed. Eugh.
…What? I’m not the one who endorses this crap, people. You can blame the fandom for that. No, I’m not staring at her! She’s 10 for Arceus’s sake!
Ash: You know, Max, I just can’t stop thinking about Pikachu.
Which is why I’m bathing in a hot spring. Sorry, Pikachu. My hygiene comes first! What is one day since your kidnapping after all?
Of course, Lucario has another flashback regarding Sir Aaron. It shows that Lucario is the more uptight, working stiff of the duo while Sir Aaron is actually rather laidback. However, it’s more of a bittersweet memory now and Lucario refuses to join “our heroes” for an afternoon soak.
Meanwhile, May spots… the most mechanical and CGI-looking flower I’ve ever seen. Ash manages to pick it and Lucario gets yet another flashback.
Sir Aaron: Look, a Time Flower!
Lucario: Time Flower?
Sir Aaron: This flower, through the power of aura, can help you see the past.
But the cheapness of this plot device doesn’t stop, everyone. Just as Ash and the others were about to plant the newly picked Time Flower, the flower suddenly projects a vision of the recent past after Ash touched it.
And for good measure, Kidd explains what a Time Flower is. This is literally less than a minute after Lucario’s flashback. What was even the point of that flashback then if you’re going to repeat the same exposition?
Kidd: If the legend is accurate, it responded because of Ash’s and Aaron’s auras are the same.
If you’re saying what I think you’re saying… then you pretty much fucked up your whole movie. You know, just saying.
I know Ash Ketchum is the main protagonist of the anime series, but why is it that he always has these hidden powers or some sort of potential that only gets brought up once and never gets a mention again? It’s like the script writers constantly ran out of ideas and just decided to turn Ash into Poké-Jesus.
And this movie is implying that Ash Ketchum is either a descendant or a reincarnation of Sir Aaron. Otherwise, why we would he just so happen to have the same exact aura as a fabled hero?
Well, here’s a third reason: because Ash is super awesome and you’re just jelly that you didn’t try hard enough to bend the laws of reality to cater to you! Fuck you.
Later that night, Ash decided to tell the group why he and Pikachu are the bestest besties in all of Bestiesdom. And of course, he references to that well-known pilot episode that launched the series.
Lucario was also listening in, once again reminiscing of his time with Sir Aaron. This drives him to anger, causing him to make a scene.
Lucario: You humans are all alike! Can’t be trusted!
And just like the easily offended, hot-headed idiot that he is, Ash ends up arguing with Lucario. Lucario accuses Ash of abandoning Pikachu (which is not entirely unfounded, considering Ash wasted a whole day bathing), but Ash fires back and accuses Lucario of having betrayed his kingdom in the distant past.
May: This isn’t helping, Ash!
I agree. Good job, May. Thanks for taking the rare opportunity to be his voice of reason.
But Lucario once again sets Ash off with one hell of a diss.
Lucario: What makes you think that Pikachu didn’t run off and desert you? Because it didn’t want you for a master!
OOOOOOHHHHHHHH! Man, Ash is going to need enough first aid for the next month to treat that third-degree BUUUUUUUUUUURRRRN!
And the two end up having a physical brawl. And Ash loses. Wow, I’m so surprised.
You’d think by now, Ash would learn NOT to tackle someone or something that is clearly out of his league for the hundredth fucking time. And you’d be lying to yourself…
May: That was so uncalled for.
Ash: So what? It shouldn’t have said Pikachu ran away from me.
May: Well, you said some pretty terrible things to Lucario too.
Ash: Mmm… yeah…
Can it be? Is it really? Ash is actually… LEARNING?
Everyone, we just witnessed a miracle. May had done it. May had just appeased the wrath of Poké-Jesus. She must be… a saint.
But we get to see Max’s one big contribution in the movie: he gives Lucario chocolate.
…Isn’t chocolate toxic for canids, including jackals?
Well, maybe it’s all good. After all, Lucario is part Steel type. HUH HUH!
And of course, Lucario likes chocolate. Good. Thanks for that important scene, movie. I would be so lost without its brilliance.
Of course, the movie has to constantly remind us that Mew, Pikachu and Meowth are far far away and ever so adorable. Though Mew tries hard to distract Pikachu with its abundance of toys, Pikachu can’t help but feel lonely without Ash.
And Ash suddenly wakes up, deciding to go outside and stare at the Tree of Beginning for a while. Look, movie, I get it. You want to convince me that Ash would risk life and limb to see his darling little Pikachu again. There was even that famous episode where Ash contemplated in releasing Pikachu into the wild so that it could go live with its kind, but their friendship was so strong that Pikachu returned anyway. I was already convinced since the beginning of the anime series. Can we get to the point?
The next morning, “our heroes” venture deeper into the enormous terrain of the Tree of Beginning. Lucario comes to a stop to a particular rock formation, recognizing it as the same place where he was imprisoned. He falls into despair, but accidentally triggers a nearby Time Flower. Well, isn’t that fucking convenient.
So yeah. You know exactly what happens. The Time Flower reveals to “our heroes” the same exact moment in which Sir Aaron imprisoned Lucario into his staff.
You know, that previous Time Flower we saw earlier was accidentally triggered by Ash and it replayed the exact moment when he fell off a cliff and into the hot spring in order to pick it.
But this particular Time Flower replayed an event that happened hundreds of years back. Are you seriously telling me that nothing else happened in those hundreds of years that also got recorded? Was there even a Time Flower around that particular time period to even capture the event?
This whole Time Flower idea makes no sense. It’s just a lazy plot device to make sure that “our heroes” are caught up to current events. You know, there ARE better, less convoluted ways to do that, you know. Like maybe just have Lucario open up to the group and tell them his whole story?
Though I admit, this one particular scene where the phantoms of the red army passing through is kind of cool.
However, the illusion causes Lucario to go berserk and he fires a bunch of aura spheres. The commotion ends when the vision finishes up. Brock seems convinced that Sir Aaron was not the hero as the legend spoke of, but May feels that the whole thing just doesn’t add up.
After having witnessed the event, Ash finally gets the courage to apologize to Lucario and breaks down in tears.
Lucario: Ash, promise me you won’t ever desert Pikachu.
Ash: I promise!
This tender moment doesn’t last as we get an unexpected appearance from…
Huh. You know, I was expecting the legendary Regirock to be… taller. But it’s barely as tall as the car it’s lifting.
Oh, that’s right. You two are still in the picture.
I know that Team Rocket is pretty much a running gag in the anime, but once again their appearance does nothing for this movie. It’s been that way for most of the movies so far. Why even bother keeping them in if you’re not intending to use them for an important purpose?
So for whatever reason, this Regirock wants to wreck everyone’s shit. And its voice sounds like a bass being played badly, making it sound like a baritone robot. Its eyes even glow whenever it makes a sound. I guess that’s the intent, but hmm.
Oddly enough, Lucario seems to be more than enough of a match for it by canceling its Hyper Beam with his Aura Sphere. I’m not even considering type matchups here.
But the movie seems to ignore the fact as the Aura Sphere did make contact with Regirock, but doesn’t seem to affect it whatsoever. I guess this is a point where Aura Sphere didn’t even have a decided typing just yet, so take that as you will.
“Our heroes” attempt to flee the rock titan with Lucario leading the charge.
And for some reason, we cut to Lady Ilene and Mime Jr. where Ilene makes the most pessimistic remark.
Lady Ilene: I’m worried too. Even with Lucario’s help, their quest may fail.
…Thanks for that. I know you’re just a supporting character but this scene adds nothing to the movie. What’s the point?
So back to “our heroes,” who are now inside a CGI tunnel filled with glowing crystals…
Ash: Do you know why that Regirock attacked us?
Lucario: It was just giving us a warning.
Kidd: Why would it do that?
Lucario: It must be on the lookout for intruders. To protect the Tree of Beginning.
Yeah, wrecking Kidd’s car and trying to vaporize everyone with an energy beam are just a “warning.” You know… there are less destructive ways to warn someone.
At the end of the tunnel, they stumble upon probably the prettiest shot of the movie yet.
It gets even more bizarre.
Yeah, so, the Tree of Beginning is home to several living fossil Pokémon that were supposedly extinct species too. A sort of ancient hidden paradise, if you will. But I’ll give this little scene some credit. It is by far the prettiest scenery to look at in an Advanced Generation movie, which definitely speaks more than Jirachi Wish Maker and Destiny Deoxys.
Ash and Lucario continue upwards towards the center of the tree itself while Kidd prepares several surveillance robots to send footage to her boss. I just don’t understand why this subplot needs to exist, though. Ultimately, it doesn’t build up to anything and nothing gets accomplished. This is a major reason why I feel Kidd Summers is a very pointless side character as her contributions to the movie are insignificant. As a matter of fact, we’re about to find out that she’s a liability.
Of course, Jessie and James are also admiring the scenery until Regirock comes along and becomes a party pooper.
So Kidd’s robots are attempting to extract samples of the glowing crystals until a wild Registeel appears and smashes one of them. This causes one of the crystals to eject a strange orange fluid and absorb the robot.
Kidd feels like she’s getting close to a major breakthrough, though has no idea where Mew fits into the whole plan. Oh yeah, that’s right. This movie is titled Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. We’re now in the last 30 minutes of the movie and we have virtually little to no information on Mew.
I really don’t understand how OLM could work with such a weak movie script. You have some good ideas with this movie, but they were never fully explored. It’s almost insulting on how much better this movie could have been had there been a little more effort into writing a better story. The animation would still be a long and tedious process, but at least your movie would turn out better for it.
Ash and Lucario manage to enter the center of the tree. Ash calls out to Pikachu. Fortunately, the little mouse can hear his trainer calling out so he responds back. Ash runs towards it, but of course we have to put in yet another tedious conflict that doesn’t really serve much purpose.
So yep, all three of the titan legendaries are in this movie (not counting Regigigas, who technically doesn’t exist yet). And they’re just basically guardians for the Tree of Beginning, which all things considered are not very important.
Also, what did this one say?
Umm… you do realize there is only ONE letter ‘i’ in ‘Regice,’ right? Why isn’t it ‘reh-jeyes?’
Fuck, whatever. So “Regi-ice” has this incredibly irritating voice that sounds like a robot currently going through a lobotomy. It’s so grating that I want to send this fucker to the moon just so I would make sure I will never hear of it for the rest of my life.
Ash tries to reason with the “Regi-ice,” but I guess someone forgot to program logic and reasoning into the block of ice’s possible CPU. Lucario repels its attacks and tells Ash that he needs to turn tail and RUN! FUCKING RUUUN!
But for some reason, Ash decided to run straight to his friends to warn them about the floating glacier of doom and now everyone is caught into the chase. Good job, Ash. One heroic deed at a time, right?
Of course, Lucario shuts it up with an Aura Sphere. Fantastic, Lucario. You are my hero.
But then the problems escalate further when Jessie and James run into “our heroes.”
Oh. You guys are so fucked.
Lucario continues to hold off their pursuers while everyone else runs off. I just noticed, but Lucario is pretty much the only character in this whole damn movie doing something helpful.
Yeah, Ash is the one who set Lucario free due to some BS about him having Sir Aaron’s aura.
Yeah, Kidd allowed Ash and his friends to ride in her car to an enormous landmark that probably would’ve taken them a whole week to go to (seeing as how they’re not exactly smart about their transportation methods).
Yeah, Mew saved Pikachu and Meowth from harm. However, the irony is that it wouldn’t have to if Kidd hadn’t sent out her two Weavile. Not only that, but Mew doesn’t seem intent on returning Pikachu and Meowth back to the palace anyway so it’s basically wasting everyone’s time.
And everyone else… is a meat shield. And no one is even fighting back or sending out their Pokémon to bring down the three titans. Why the hell is everyone except Lucario a total dumbass?
And I’m serious. Lucario is the most intelligent living being traveling in this group. Not only did he strategically fend off THREE legendary titans by himself, but he even managed to destroy this land bridge after everyone has crossed safely so he can prevent the titans from following.
Whaaat theeee fuuuck…
So now, we have yet ANOTHER random obstacle. This orange blob-like creature that strangely resembles the head of a Cradily captures and absorbs Jessie.
…Really? First, you had the giant mutant slime Groudon from Jirachi Wish Maker. And now, this weirdness happens.
NOOOO! THIS ISN’T MY FETISH!
Surprisingly, James did a noble thing by making sure his Cacnea and his Chimecho go free right before getting absorbed. I guess it’s moments like these why fans don’t mind Team Rocket being around in these movies, even if they have no business in them.
But ooooooh, things keep on getting worse and worse. The legendary titans have reappeared once again, so now “our heroes” have to face all this shit.
Kidd contacts her boss about the mysterious orange blobs, and the response is that they are apparently the white blood cells of the Tree of Beginning. Or antibodies, if you will.
Here’s a biology lesson, kids. Plants don’t have white blood cells. They don’t even have blood to create those kinds of cells. If this scene were true, that would mean that the Tree of Beginning is an animal. And that makes no sense.
Good lord, is it so hard to do simple research to make sure your kid’s flick doesn’t become ball-numbingly stupid?
Also, if you haven’t noticed yet, pretty much everything bad happening in this movie is the fault of Kidd Summers. First off, she’s the one who sent her Weavile off to plant a tracking device on Mew. Mew takes Pikachu and Meowth away to a faraway and dangerous place, giving us the plot of the movie. And second, she’s the one who launched those surveillance robots that triggered the tree’s immune system.
So even though no one knows it, this “supportive” character is the main reason why everyone is going through so much shit now. And all for having a stupid world record. Sorry, Miss Perfect, but this is a very good reason for me to hate you right now.
Ooooiiiii. So one of those mutant Sunkist blobs tried to absorb Lucario. But for some reason, it just melted away and left him unscathed.
Kidd: I guess Pokémon aren’t considered dangerous.
Heh. Right. Because humans can shoot energy beams, discharge electrical currents, breathe fire, cause blizzards, and shoot pink sparkles that slaughter dragons by the thousands. Are you fucking serious?
Well, what about the collateral damage trio following you in the background? I’m pretty sure they did more harm to the tree than any human or even Lucario did.
“Our heroes” managed to flee for a short time, but Ash volunteered to stay behind with Lucario to give everyone else the chance to escape. Yes, including the “responsible adult” and daredevil Kidd Summers. Christ, I hate this lady…
However, Ash is taken back by Lucario’s loyalty.
Ash: You’re staying?
Lucario: I won’t leave until you find Pikachu. I know you would do the same for me.
Ash: Thanks, Lucario.
Lucario, I’m not gonna lie. You’re one of the most awesome characters in this whole anime series.
I mean it. If there is one good thing I can say about this flick, it’s that Lucario is actually written reasonably well for a Pokémon movie. He’s rough around the edges but he is ultimately a fiercely loyal and resourceful individual who is a true knight to the end.
So oddly enough at this final stretch of the movie, Ash is actually using his brain and is using his own Pokémon to distract the legendary titans to keep them off of his friends. Pft. Finally.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t keep the giant Sunkist-flavored gumdrops from absorbing everyone else. In their last moments, Brock and May set their Pokémon free.
We even see May despair over the loss of her brother very briefly and looking relieved that her Pokémon are free, while being confused about the whole situation, before she vanishes as well.
…Okay okay okay OKAY! As short as it is, this one image alone is done well. If this were handled incompetently, neither Brock nor May would be releasing their Pokémon to give them a chance at life. Same with James. I especially liked the subtle touches with May, since she displayed emotions of shock, horror, despair, relief and acceptance in a matter of seconds. That’s actually pretty damn powerful. It just shows how human she is in that short amount of time.
Unfortunately, it would’ve hit me harder had May gotten a stronger role in this movie. You know, aside from putting her in cute outfits. But whatever. Considering how much of this movie didn’t do much for me, I’ll take what I can get.
Kidd Summers, though? She’s the only human in the group who escaped, and she just abandons the released Pokémon to save her own skin. What a bitch.
Oh look. Ash had turned into Sonic the Hedgehog.
Meanwhile, Ash and Pikachu finally meet eyes. However, a series of crystal growths is in their way so they decide to use them as bridges to cross… over a tremendous height.
And also, Ash defies the laws of physics by running downward on a crystal growth but somehow never accelerating from the force of gravity. But I think part of it is due to animation errors, because Ash seems to be on a different perspective when he jumps across the crystal growths.
My guess is that the crystal are actually 3D models and the animators are attempting to have a 2D Ash crossing them… which looks strange. Same thing when Pikachu crosses them.
But when the two meet, the heavy winds blow them off course and they were hurled into their deaths…
One deus ex machina, coming up!
Kidd pulled off a Batman, Indiana Jones or whatever you want to call it and saved the two of them.
Wonderful. You saved one kid and his Pikachu. That must be a new record for you.
Yeah yeah, I know. She did something “important” this time around but it doesn’t excuse the fact that she still set off all of the bad events in the first place. And no, I’m not letting that one go.
Lucario is glad bout the reunion and Ash meets Mew for the first time, who just so happens to save his hat after it blew off his head.
Yep. Perhaps you can use your Teleport and we’ll just be on our way? I’m sure we can come back for the survivors when things settle down.
And of course, everyone just takes the harder way out and try to escape through the tunnels. Um, hello? Guys? You have a teleporting Mew on your side now! Maybe if you ask it nicely, it would get you out of this situation. Seriously, you can just—you know what? Screw you, guys. You go fuck this up even worse however you like.
Oh, nice timing.
So in one fell swoop, Lucario was captured by Registeel and both Ash and Kidd were caught by the white blood cell thingies. Both trainers managed to release their Pokémon before getting absorbed.
Ash: Pikachu, you can’t save me! Just take of yourself! And all the others! I’ll miss you, buddy! I love you!
…You know, you could just ask Pikachu to zap you and see if you can get free. I mean, you have developed such a high tolerance to his electric attacks long enough to withstand it. I’m surprised none of you idiots have asked your Pokémon to attack the cells. I mean, you saw Lucario doing it just a while ago and he did pretty well.
But Ash’s remaining Pokémon attempt to pull him away. Lucario manages to break free, but it’s too late. Ash is already gone.
Oh, yes, he is gone alright. No fake-outs whatsoever.
But it’s not quite over as Mew sees how sad the Pokémon are and it puts on its serious face.
You know what? This isn’t fun to me anymore.
So Mew causes the crystals of the Tree of Beginning to turn green, which causes everyone absorbed by the cells to return, unharmed.
…WHAT THE FUCK?
Yeah yeah, I know. I expected them to somehow get free at some point, alive and well. But for such a simple solution to come straight out of nowhere pretty much destroys whatever drama you’re trying to convey here.
And it gets even worse. The three titans, who relentlessly pursued “our heroes” throughout the tree decided to fuck off as if nothing happened. FUCKING WHAAAAAAAT?
You know what. Here, I have a skit for you…
Regirock: Well, that’s a wrap, boys. I feel like getting some shots of vodka tonight. How bout you, Regi-ice? I’ll buy if you provide the ice!
Regice: My name is Regice, you dumbshit!
Registeel: Whatever, Regi-ice. No one cares. We’re just throwaway antagonists anyway.
Regirock: …Man, we’re kinda dicks. Why does the tree want us to kill human children anyway?
Registeel: Tch, who knows. How does a tree have white blood cells? I’m a metallic robot thingie and even I question that!
Regice: I hate you both. One of these days, I will piss on your graves…
So someone brought to my attention that “Regi-ice” is technically correct in Japan, because Regice is called レジアイス in katakana. Romanized, it says “Rejiaisu.”
And as we know, some of the voices of the monsters themselves are done at Japan and carry over to the English dub. The best known example is the voice of Ikue Otani, best known for her iconic voice of Pikachu. After a little research, I found out that Regice’s Japanese voice still carries over to the English dub.
Regardless, it’s still odd that 4Kids still decided to have the English voiceovers say “Regi-ice” even though it doesn’t fit with the English spelling. I guess they just said it that way to be consistent?
Thanks for pointing that out, Telume.
Somehow, these movies keep surprising me with these Sharpedo-jumping moments. It’s like a talent. It’s simply amazing.
Oh no… not again…
Pft, yes. Once again, things turn to shit as Mew suddenly turns ill and the Tree of Beginning goes batshit again. This time, things get REALLY hot as the crystals start burning away. Why, you ask? Well, let’s listen and see…
Kidd talks to her boss again (whose name is Banks by the way, but who gives a shit at this point)…
Banks: Can you believe all the data that is coming in? The Tree of Beginning’s ecosystem seems to be breaking down!
Kidd: Yeah, I noticed.
Banks: The transfer of energy has been disrupted.
Kidd: Why is that?
Banks: The system’s immune response is too strong and now everything is out of balance! The tree is going into shock! If the problem continues at this rate, the Tree of Beginning will experience a catastrophic collapse!
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?! GOING INTO SHOCK, MY ASS! ARE YOU SERIOUSLY SUGGESTING THAT HAVING HARMLESS HUMANS IS SUCH A HUGE PROBLEM TO THE TREE THAT IT CAUSES IT TO BURN AWAY FASTER THAN THE EBOLA VIRUS CAN KILL?!
Just… Just… hnnnnnnnnnngggggggghhh…!!!!
You know, Pokémon movies have this habit of pulling out the most bizarre plot twists. A lot of shit just happens out of nowhere. Bullshit first, questions later.
Don’t believe me? Look at this dialogue and judge for yourself.
Kidd: Mew and the Tree of Beginning depend on each other for life. If the tree doesn’t survive this crisis, neither will Mew.
………………This movie just committed suicide by jumping off the proverbial end and came crashing down Mount Moon.
Okay, so I’m assuming this is the whole “mystery of Mew” that we were supposed to learn about. But… how? Why? If Mew and the Tree of Beginning share this relationship, what does that make them? The one and the same being? Symbiotes?
And why did Mew suddenly become violently ill when it stopped the tree from killing everyone? There is no explanation for that at all. It just happened.
What movie WHAT.
…Wait. Wait wait wait wait wait. So when Kidd’s robots from earlier attempted to drill into the tree’s crystals, does that mean that they’re like viruses?
Egh. So this goes back to my argument that everything that happened at this point is completely Kidd’s fault. Damn it all.
You know, I think I just figured something out. The Tree dying can be a metaphor for the movie’s plot collapsing under its own weight.
So Mew, looking more drunk than feverish, uses the last of its strength to lead everyone deeper into the tree. They stumble upon a giant crystal, which I guess is the tree’s brain/heart/whatever-the-fuck-the-movie-wants-to-convey.
But off to the corner, Lucario spotted Sir Aaron’s gloves. Using his aura, he communicated with the large crystal which showed the phantom of the long deceased hero.
Kidd: I see! After sealing you in the staff, Sir Aaron came to this chamber. And this place must be the heart of the Tree of Beginning. But why here?
Want to keep piling on the bullshit? Let’s just wrap this up.
So Ash conveniently finds a Time Flower next to the heart of the tree, which shows a flashback of Sir Aaron calling out to the Mew of the past. Mew, appearing as Ho-oh, enters the room. Sir Aaron revealed that Mew and the tree “are one.” I’ll save the discussion for that later.
Sir Aaron cries out to Mew to take all of his aura and SOMEHOW stop the two armies outside from fighting. I don’t get how this works either, but fucking whatever.
Take this! The power of BULLSHIT!
The event abruptly ends as Sir Aaron presumably gets vaporized by his own aura.
Kidd: Sir Aaron sacrificed himself in order to save the kingdom and restore peace. He was a hero like the legends say.
Thank you, Miss Perfect. I would not have figured that shit out by myself. Thanks again for insulting my intelligence, the intelligence of thousands of other Pokémon fans, and the intelligence of young children everywhere. You did such a great job in this movie.
Also, I saw this weak little twist coming a mile away. Anytime Sir Aaron comes on the screen, he is always portrayed as this friendly and easygoing person. Even when the movie tried to shed him in a more negative light as a fraud, it doesn’t work too well because all we know at the time is that he imprisoned Lucario. But we couldn’t just prove that he didn’t save the kingdom.
Lucario feels guilt over doubting his former master. Mew wakes up again and talks to Lucario, telling him that the tree can be saved if he uses his own aura to save it. And of course, it would kill him too.
Let me wrap this up before I go into what is wrong with that.
So Lucario complies and attempts to give his energy to Mew. It doesn’t work because “he’s not strong enough.”
Oh, come on, movie! Lucario has shown time and again that he is more than capable. But oh-ho-ho-ho-ho, we know why this is so.
It’s because it allows Ash to share the spotlight.
Yeah, you remember that whole BS that Ash possesses the same exact aura as Sir Aaron’s even though there is zero explanation for that and we can clearly see Sir Aaron’s aura in the tree’s heart? THIS is what it’s been building up to!
DAMN YOU ALL!
So even though Ash has no training with aura, he can somehow use it to the same aptitude as Lucario. But at the last second, Lucario butts Ash out of the way so he can finish the job. Eventually, Mew gains enough power and it instantly makes the tree feel all better.
Yeah, just keep standing there and looking pretty, Lady Ilene. I’m so glad Ash Ketchum has to save your kingdom this time while you do diddly-squat.
So Team Rocket gets reunited, Ash’s friends are safe and unharmed, Mew is back to its healthy and energetic self, and Kidd’s boss over transmission is trying to give Kidd all of the credit for solving the mystery of the tree and saving it (fuck you fuck you fuck you…)
But Miss Perfect, because she’s so damn “pure,” tells Banks not to leak this information to the public seeing as how the tree can’t handle a few human children on itself and that tourism would pretty much ruin it in a matter of minutes.
But ultimately, the short stick goes to Lucario, who is slowly dying. He accidentally triggers the same exact Time Flower next to the heart of the tree, which shows a DIFFERENT memory of Sir Aaron dying and relaying a message to Lucario himself.
Sir Aaron: Lucario… forgive me…
Lucario: I do, Master…
Sir Aaron: Please understand… I had to seal you inside the staff. I knew if I didn’t, you’d follow me here and suffer the same fate. My only wish… if you could have known the real story…
Lucario: I understand!
Sir Aaron: One day, you will be released. In a distant and more peaceful time. What will it be like? I wonder if… *gets interrupted as a surge of electricity runs through his body* I have… no regrets… my journey… has been good. I served a beautiful queen, and you and I share many adventures. Those memories will always be with me.
Lucario: Master… *tears form in his eyes* If you could only hear me… I want to tell you how much you mean to me.
Sir Aaron: Lucario. Farewell. You were more to me than just my student. You were my closest friend.
Lucario: I feel the same…
Sir Aaron: Who knows? It could be… one day… we will see each other again. I hope so, my friend.
Lucario breaks down in tears and believes that he has failed his master, but Ash tells him that he’s a hero and a true guardian. Lucario thanks Ash and accepts his fate.
As Lucario fades away, the heart of the tree suddenly vanishes. Why? I don’t fucking know, people. It just does!
But for the most part, I’m fine with this particular scene. It shows how deep the friendship between Sir Aaron and Lucario share. Despite that Sir Aaron did try to save Lucario and give him a future, the fucked up part is that Lucario was only alive for one day in the future before he meets his demise. It’s truly a tragic ending for two heroes.
So Ash and Kidd reunite with their friends and Ash relays the bad news.
Ash: Lucario… Lucario left to go be with a friend.
Everyone expresses their regret but Ash assures them that everything is going to be fine. After all…
“Its aura is with me.”
Oh, get over yourself, Ash. Had you kept Sir Aaron’s gloves (which for some reason you don’t have right now), do you have ANY idea how much easier your life will be? No one will mess with you anymore, not even Team Rocket. But no, the very fact that you can control aura will never be mentioned or seen in the anime again. Suck my balls.
And the movie just ends right there, showing the epilogue in the credits as “our heroes” touch base with the extraneous characters at Cameran Palace and say farewell to Kidd Summers (who thankfully, we don’t see again). Then we cut to Mew interacting with the residents of the Tree of Beginning and even see that Ash had left behind Sir Aaron’s gloves after all.
Ash, it’s a wonder how your brain even functions.
Yay, Butler and Diane from Jirachi Wish Maker. I am so glad that they had been referenced… not.
Oh, and Sir Aaron’s phantom apparently likes chocolate now.
“Master… where… did you get that…?”
…So, let’s review the plot holes and issues never addressed, shall we?
- Earlier in the movie, Mew disguised itself as Ho-oh. Why, though? If Mew is trying to prevent itself from being discovered, why would it change to ANOTHER legendary Pokémon? Why can’t it just transform into a common species like a Pidgey or something?
- Why were the red and green armies fighting in the past? Why would they involve Cameran Palace into the conflict and run it to the ground as Lucario mentioned? We can assume the palace was neutral to both armies, but involving a neutral kingdom into conflict would fare extremely poorly for foreign relations. None of it was ever explained.
- Why did Sir Aaron have to awaken the Tree of Beginning and sacrifice himself anyway? The tree itself was just fine when he got there. It was never explained how awakening it would stop the two armies from fighting.
- What was with the mother and daughter characters at the beginning? Why not let the story be read by Ash and his friends to give them more context of what they’re involving themselves in?
- Why is there a German castle in the Japanese-inspired Kanto region?
- Why does the tournament at Cameran Palace have such a lame grand prize?
- How was Kidd Summers able to pinpoint Mew’s location at the beginning without the use of a tracking device or any bait? How did she know Mew was going to come into a specific attic at Cameran Palace?
- Why did Mew teleport Pikachu and Meowth all the way to the Tree of Beginning? Why did it not stay at Cameran Palace and instead warp to a different part of it?
- Why the hell does Ash have aura manipulation anyway? Why does he have specifically Sir Aaron’s aura? Is he a descendant, reincarnation or something else entirely? It just seems like a convenient excuse to make him special just because he’s the protagonist.
- What was the point of that hot spring scene? It killed all sense of urgency that the movie wanted to convey and “our heroes” could’ve gotten everything done faster. You could easily remove it and it wouldn’t change the movie that much.
- Where do Time Flowers come from? Why do they even exist? How the hell can they record very specific events from the past? Why do they grow in the most plot-convenient locations? WHY CAN’T THEY JUST HAVE LUCARIO BE THE SOURCE OF THIS KIND OF EXPOSITION?!
- This goes without saying: what is the point of having Team Rocket in this movie? They do nothing important. They haven’t said a single funny line. They’re just there.
- Why were the legendary titans so intent on killing “our heroes?” Why didn’t Mew just speak to them and get them to stop?
- In that one scene where Lady Ilene said that “our heroes” may fail, what does she mean? Does it mean that she KNEW the Tree of Beginning was going to go berserk and burn away while taking the whole kingdom down with it?
- Kidd Summers was introduced as a bait-and-switch character. We thought she was going to be villain, though it turns out she isn’t one. However, she managed to fuck things up even worse anyway. It was because of her own quest for glory that “our heroes” were put into any danger in the first place, meaning she did more villainous things than any other character in this whole movie. Therefore, Mew getting ill and Lucario’s death are indirectly her fault.
- Why does the Tree of Beginning have an immune system like an animal’s? Plants don’t have white blood cells or antibodies. Why is it super sensitive to having just a few humans on it to the point where its own antibodies would kill it? If the tree has animalistic properties, why didn’t Mew have plantlike properties?
- Why didn’t Mew use its Teleport to save everyone? It’s shown to be reasonably intelligent so there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t use it.
- Why are Mew and the Tree of Beginning somehow the same being anyway? This sort of thing was never covered in ANY backstory referring to Mew, so this is something that the writers have pulled out of their asses.
- Why did Mew get violently ill from just stopping the tree from killing the humans?
- How does Ash know immediately on how to use aura as soon as he puts on Sir Aaron’s gloves? Why didn’t he keep those fucking gloves and explore his aura abilities some more?
This is a “fan favorite,” people. And its writing is an absolute train wreck.
Honestly, this movie has some good ideas. But most of them are never fully realized, leaving so much to be desired. It’s like OLM came up with two different scripts and decided to merge them into one. But because they ran out of time, they just used what is already there without editing and started the animation to release the movie as soon as possible.
If there is anything that is done pretty well, it’s the characterization of Lucario and Sir Aaron. They are the best part about the movie. And those who do like the movie, flaws and all, often acknowledge this. Which is fine by me. It’s more than I can say than Jirachi Wish Maker and Destiny Deoxys.
Despite my complaints about the overuse of CGI, this movie is actually quite gorgeous to look at. The colors are bright and vibrant and the environments are pretty detailed. While the whole giant magical tree idea isn’t a new concept, the movie did pretty well in showing off its beauty and its variable landscapes.
Still, it doesn’t excuse the fact that this movie is yet another bore to sit through and that it feels like a longer version of a lame episode. Had the writers focused on one plot (particularly Lucario’s story), erased the lazy plot devices, and left out the unnecessary subplots, we would have a much stronger movie. It could have even become a decent kid’s flick on its own.
What’s done is done, though. Whew…
So with that said, I would call this the best Advanced Generation movie by far. Which isn’t saying much. And that is yet another movie off my list.
Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew$7.99
- The ten-minute war segment at the beginning is done pretty well, introducing a fascinating idea and giving us a taste of a darker, grittier Pokémon world.
- Lucario is one of the better movie-exclusive protagonists in a Pokémon movie, as his backstory of his friendship with Sir Aaron shoulders the most weight of the script.
- More than the previous Advanced Generation movies, this one showcases better visuals overall.
- The numerous errors and inconsistencies with the movie’s script, leading to gigantic plot holes that bring an otherwise decent premise down. It also has to do with the fact that the movie tried to use too many twists and turns, especially in the last 30 minutes, giving the script a jerky pacing and very little to go by regarding plot.
- The fact that Ash Ketchum possesses special powers that are not to be used or mentioned ever again just because he’s the protagonist of the anime series.
- The character of Kidd Summers, who lacked a distinct personality and made two massive mistakes that ultimately screwed everyone over. And yet, the movie treats her as this badass daredevil with no flaws who did more good than bad.
- Multiple side characters who serve little to no purpose as they are not given enough screentime to contribute anything significant.
- The CGI at times can get distracting as many transitional shots hold on to those CGI shots for no particular reason.