Do you remember Pokémon the Movie: Black-Victini and Reshiram and White – Victini and Zekrom? If you enjoyed that movie, or any other official Pokémon movies, don’t miss Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice. There was an unexpected level of emotion and I actually found myself rooting for Keldeo, the star of the movie. The movie makes impressive use of CGI effects, and in scenes involving ice, this is very evident. The short runtime is something of a blessing. At just one hour and five minutes, the movie doesn’t feel heavy and does not suffer from padding of any kind.
This movie wasn’t one of the best, but it was still enjoyable, and I really liked Keldoeo’s character. Its probably one of my favorite ‘telepathy speaking’ Pokemon so far. It kind of seemed like Ash wasn’t all that involved towards the end. Of course he helped Keldeo and cheered him on, but he didn’t do as much as he does in the other movies battle wise. Keldeo was really the main star of this movie and it was a nice change from the usual “Ash saves the day” plot. Perhaps my favorite bit of the entire movie though, was Scraggy nearly getting left behind at the train station. It fits perfectly with the childlike role he fills in the group. Him leaping into Ash’s arms after Snivy pulled him in was cute too. They actually put the advanced art style to good use and had some epic battle scenes, which seem to be missing from most of the recent movies. I also liked how Ash wasn’t “The Chosen One” this time and the focus was actually on a Pokemon and their journey. Ash ‘n company kind of took a backseat, which was a nice change in my opinion.
There was one aspect of the movie that I never truly understood, even in the English dub. Why did Keldeo challenge Kyurem to a battle in the first place? Keldeo claimed that it would become a Sword of Justice if it challenged and defeated Kyurem in a battle, but then there was that dialogue from Iris which inferred that all of the Swords of Justice challenged Kyurem to a battle to gain their titles. It never made sense that the Swords of Justice battled Kyurem in the first place. Kyurem was completely secluded from humans in an abandoned mine, and with the exception of the Cryogonal that it ruled over it hardly interacted with anybody prior to the Keldeo battle. Kyurem did not threaten the lives of any humans or Pokemon until Keldeo ran away from fear after their first battle, and even then Kyurem was only interested in finishing its battle with Keldeo. Kyurem practically ignored Ash and his friends’ attempts to stop it from getting to Keldeo. I can understand why Kyurem chased after Keldeo throughout the movie, but what was the justification of their conflict to begin with?
Personally, I think the movie would’ve been better served by giving Keldeo’s character more time to develop. Having him ready to rush back into the fray against Kyurem so soon after getting so freaked out felt rushed. He should’ve had more time to wrestle with both his fear and his guilt over leaving the three Poke-teers behind before deciding to go back and challenge Kyurem again. Similarly, when Ash and Keldeo reached Kyurem’s lair and Keldeo got scared again, I was expecting Ash to challenge Kyurem himself. Keldeo would watch Ash control his own fear in battle and draw inspiration from him; then, Ash would get into serious trouble, and Keldeo would fight through his own fear to step in and save Ash. Of course, that would’ve required more time that the movie didn’t have. To conclude, I had alot of observations and nit-picks but I am just amazed that after 15 years this franchise still has legs and continues to improve. Recommended.