Ash and his friends Iris and Cilan arrive in Eindoak Town, built around a castle called the Sword of the Vale. The three Trainers have come to compete in the town’s annual battle competition, and Ash manages to win with some unexpected help from the Mythical Pokémon Victini! It turns out Victini has a special bond with this place. Long ago, the castle watched over the Kingdom of the Vale, and the partnership between Victini and the king protected its people who lived there. But that kingdom has since vanished into memory, leaving behind powerful relics and ancient Pokémon. Damon plans to trap Victini and harness its power, and as that plan gets under way, the entire town of Eindoak faces disaster. This movie is good for kids and those who grew up with Pokemon who trade Pokemon and are familiar with the characters and story.
This movie offers a more streamlined screenplay than the last few Pokémon movies and a pared-down group of main characters. There’s about a half-hour of buildup and exposition before the narrative shifts into gear with a steady stream of suspense and excitement once all the characters wind up on a floating castle that rises up into the atmosphere, leaving havoc in its wake, and deliberately recalling Hayao Miyazaki’s 1986 classic, Laputa. On February 15, 2011, it was announced that a second film featuring Reshiram would be released simultaneously in theaters with the Zekrom film. The plots of both films are similar up until Reshiram and Zekrom enter the story of each film.
While Reshiram and Zekrom provide spectacular action setpieces in the film, it’s the endearing little Victini, which looks like a beige squirrel with over-sized pointed ears, who earns our sympathy and keeps us engaged with the story. The imagery is quite spectacular, ranging from the breathtaking sight of the town of Eindoak situated atop towering mountain peaks, to the scenes of the massive castle floating up in the sky high above the Earth. The castle itself is beautifully designed and laid out, particularly the massive chamber where Damon uses the pillars to power the castle’s moves. Also, as a bonus everyone who sees this movie and are also players of Pokémon Black and White can download Vicitini to their games through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
A helicopter piloted by the town’s mayor is the one rescue vehicle summoned to duty, although a robot Pokémon owned by Juanita helps out as well. On the Earth, the purple flames of the Dragon Force spread out of control through the region’s forests, forcing hundreds of adorable wild Pokémon to flee in panic. The whole thing is quite compelling throughout. As Pokémon movies go, this one is very well made and is the first Pokemon film to get a theatrical release in sometime. I don’t understand the rationale for making two movies from the same material that tell exactly the same story with only slight changes in the cast of Pokémon and then releasing them together. But nonetheless, this one serves as a great opener for the other movie, which will get a review soon.