‘Victini and Zekrom’ Contest Winners + Didn’t Get a Goodie Bag? + Review

Our Victini and Zekrom movie contest is now over – three winners have been randomly chosen and contacted via PM. If you entered, be sure to check your PM box to see if you won! Winners have two days to respond, and if not, we have to give the prize pack to another randomly chosen person.

For those of you who went to see the movie but did not get a goodie back, Cinedigm is offering to mail one directly to you! Apparently, many of the theaters hosting the exhibition did not get the shipments in time. Luckily, Cinedigm is trying to rectify the issue.

Remember, Victini and Reshiram airs Saturday at 7:00 PM on Cartoon Network (following Zoroark at 5:00 PM). It will air again on Sunday at 6:00 PM. The main difference between the movies is the Pokemon that appear and some of the settings visited, so they’re essentially the same films.

Now, for my shallow review of the movie if you’re interested…

I did not like the movie. I unfortunately did not take notes during the screening, so I can only speak in generalities right now. The plot started out strong and ended strong, but everything in between (the meat of the movie) was either boring, muddled, or forgettable. The “Dragon Force” was a rather uninspired and random invention of the movie that I could not find myself believing in – it seemed like a convenient plot device thrown in just to get some conflict going. I rolled my eyes as soon as they introduced it. Yet another random energy field. Purple energy field of the day. Energy field that’s just there for the plot. No backing behind it whatsoever. Energy field that’s going to crunchify the poor wittle trees and send the Pokemon running. Energy field you must not disturb lest bad things will happen. How many times is a Pokemon movie going to rely on this weak plot device?

I know that the latest fad is to have “bad guys” that aren’t really “bad guys” (copying Miyazaki), but at least try to do it right. Damon is trying to revive his people’s land (*coughMarcuscough*) because it is what his mother wanted, but then he attacks his mother in the same breath and throws her and his sister in the castle basement? Wut? His entire motivation to do what he wants to do is rather unfounded and honestly not believable. There wasn’t much weight behind it and you find yourself questioning why he is doing what he is doing as you watch the movie, which is never a good thing because it means your characters and their goals are not justified and thus poorly written. I felt NOTHING for Damon – I did not care about him a single bit. And I couldn’t help but thinking Damon and his people were inspired by Indians, by the way, especially since in Japanese they were originally the “People of the Earth.”

The castle. The “Barriers of Protection.” Similar to the Space-Time Tower in Darkrai, what the heck is powering these things? Was the king who was shown in all the flashbacks some sort of magician? Did he magically create the barrier? Since when is actual magic an established facet in Pokemon? And I find it hilarious you can just move giant castles around and plop them wherever you want. Don’t you need a permit for that? Officer Jenny might have a word with Damon once she finds out. And I feel sorry for the town – they lost their #1 tourist attraction. Did you think of what problems that might create, Damon? Now some other moron is going to try to move it back in the future to save the dying town that you moved it from. Okay I’m being facetious here.

If the movie was standing before one of my film classes, everyone would have ripped the plot apart (and the fact that it’s meant to be a children’s movie is no excuse for a poor structure). I think the movie’s main problem was that it spent too much time wandering around. It needed more focus – it needed more content. Most of the middle was Victini being “cute,” which got boring right away (the only part I genuinely laughed at during the whole movie was when Victini burped). The flow just wasn’t enough to keep the movie going, as if the Japanese did not spend as much time planning it out as they should have. There was just way too much “air.” They could have focused more on Victini’s history, perhaps placing its past life in the beginning of the movie rather than through flashbacks (like in Lucario, which had one of the strongest movie lead-ins, though it too relied heavily on flashbacks during the rest of the movie). Instead, we get a pop-up picture book narrated by a random movie character which explains everything word-for-word instead of trying to find other ways of integrating it into the plot in a more creative manner. Then again, it’s not like there’s much you can do with Victini anyway. Even the creators of Pokemon could only give it two notable facts in its Pokedex entries – that it brings luck and that it creates an unlimited supply of energy. Guess the movie writers couldn’t think of anything else to do with it beyond that other than making it a “battery” for an ancient relic (like Latios for the DMA, Jirachi for Butler’s machine, Giratina for Zero’s machine, etc.).

About the only part that made me care about Victini or even get just a bit emotional was when the king died and Victini was left alone and trapped in the barriers. However, they literally glazed right over it – if you weren’t paying attention, you wouldn’t have known the king died. They’ll put a Pokemon corpse in front of you (Celebi), but they won’t focus on the death of a human (unless he turns to stone or turns into sparkles and floats up toward the ceiling). Speaking of flashbacks, these movies rely just way too much on them. Once you establish that Victini is invisible, do we REALLY need to have a 7-second flashback showing invisible Victini eating Ash’s macaroons? How stupid does Pokemon’s writers think 10 year olds are? I’m sure they can put two and two together. Or do they include such an incessant amount of flashbacks to fill the movie’s lack of content?

The dub’s voice acting was nothing to write home about. Zekrom’s voice sounded like someone straining to put on an impression of a strong voice – people in the audience LOL’d when he first spoke (Reshiram’s, on the other hand, was incredible). Many movie Pokemon’s voices were either over the top, repeated too often, hard to understand, or not very enthusiastic (spare one of the two Deerling in the beginning who didn’t trust Ash’s directions). Whoever directs the English voice actors needs to be fired – he or she take no pride in the work they are producing or simply does not know what a good reading is. Many of the lines were expressed just downright flat, as if the dubbing was a rush job and they wanted to pump it out as fast as possible. I felt ashamed for the adults in the audience who were returning to the franchise after all this time only to see this movie. Especially when everything coming out of Cilan’s mouth is food-related… so annoying.

All in all, I give the movie a 5/10 for its lackluster plot and voice acting. Remember, this is just an opinion, not fact, and you do not have to agree. But I think anyone with just a bit of creativity can agree this movie could have been much better! ;)

We don’t know yet if this movie will be the first of a series like Diamond & Pearl‘s trilogy, which we only knew would be part of a larger story when Giratina was announced. Reshiram and Zekrom were freed in the movie and flew away in the credits, just like Dialga and Pakia in Darkrai. (I guess we’re supposed to forget Zekrom was in the first episode of the show – or it’s another one.) Perhaps they are flying off to the next movie, and this movie was made partly to release both of them? The Dragons really did not get as much focus as they should have, the movie focusing most of its time on the “cuteness” of Victini, so I could easily see the two being in a future movie. (Perhaps like with DP, we get Reshiram and Zekrom in the first, Kyurem in the second, and then all three in the next.) After I watched the movie, I thought the “Dragon Force” could be the way to unite all three (this is absolute speculation based off nothing – it’s the fan in me speaking). Remember how in the movie the “Dragon Force” shoots out into space? (Which, by the way, was a cool ray to get rid of it.) Well, Kyurem is from space! Could the Dragon Force somehow be an excuse to drag Kyurem out of space and into conflict with the other two dragons later (assuming Kyurem isn’t already on Earth)? I absolutely doubt it, but we’ll see! At least it will give that cheap plot device more of a justifiable purpose!