Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages is the whooping 18th movie in the Pokemon series. Sometimes it seems as if these'll keep coming out forever. And if they do, I guess one day I'll be forced to descent to the mortal plane and walk the waking world eternally; just to review these little fuc*ers. When you crank out sequels yearly, care and originality become a problem. Pokemon settled into a routine. Once every few years the team will push out something a bit better or if we're lucky, genuinely enjoyable.
Sure, we didn't have a legit, consistently good movie since The Rise
of Darkrai, some eight movies ago and we didn't have an unironically great movie since Pokemon Heroes some 13 years ago. However, this doesn't mean some movies, such as Zoroark: Master of Illusions weren't enjoyable. What's that? The Zoroark movie came out 5 installments ago? Huh, well, I guess the very last one about Diancine wasn't that bad. The more I look back at the past movies, it seems as if quality really is slipping down with smaller and smaller spikes in quality. I'm sure I wanted to make some point here, but nevermind. Is Hoopa's 2015th installment good?
I'm happy to say that it's not offensive. I'm also disappointed to call it a less exciting derivative of the Diancine movie. Fitting the same mold, we've got Ash meeting a cosmically irrelevant legendary pokemon. Then some sweet shenanigans ensue and before writers are forced to make the movie into a character study, all hell breaks loose. By no means am I'm petitioning for Pokemon to shift gears into deeply personal Kino, but you can't keep doing the same sh*t and get away with it. Except Pokemon are getting away with it for the eleventh time at least.
I keep getting side tracked. Let me try again. Music is absolutely forgettable and visuals are merely fine. Team Rocket are used especially badly to the point it becomes infuriating. Unfortunately, after being beat with them for the last twenty years in the show, like a battered housewife returning for more, I can't muster the energy to protest.
Movie can be divided into two parts, the starting shenanigans and the "epic" plot. Former being standard pokemon movie fare to the point I don't even need to describe it and in fact, I won't. Just know that it's serviceable. Latter being the tipping piece that drags this movie down. So, what does weight down this movie from unremarkable to a bit dull? The exact thing that hangs on every bit of advertising - the insane numbers of already seen legendaries. While it is an attempt at nostalgia, none of them actually recognize Ash since these movies avoid continuity like Ash growing up in the show. For this reason, character wise, the whole thing is wasted and while it's nice for Ash x Latias shippers (read: reason why people don't like Pokemon fans) to see him flying with the Eon duo, it all amounts to nothing more than cheap effects. Indeed, the number of legendaries they had to animate flying spread their budget thin. Everyone's just floating in the same way no matter their anatomy. Besides a two second money shot where a building gets sliced like bread, the drawn out battle looks unimpressive and is generally boring. This, coupled with a faux ending is dull and firmly puts this outing into the "at least it's not obnoxious" camp.
I could ramp this up to the level insane nitpicking and rewrite the whole script here. But, there's no reason to bother. It's just another disapointing Pokemon movie for the pile. However, I will point something that really irritated me - the inconsistent way movie handled the population of the city. As they didn't want to bother until the very finale, during the battle the city was generally empty with a few jarring reaction shots of people turning towards the action spliced in well into the fight. This was done shamefully, just as lazy as in the pony movie two years ago. What's worse, with no reactions from people towards legendaries and without interactions between humans and legendaries, this movie creates a disconnect between what's happening and what the stakes are supposed to be. While the climax after the faux-ending rectifies that a bit, it's not enough.
To wrap up. This generally inoffensive, but formulaic film is dragged down by the virtue of being very similar to the superior outing that was the very movie preceding it: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction. I would advise the viewer to watch that movie instead of this one. Or if one's looking for a subpar, but somewhat worthwhile Pokemon film, then check Destiny Deoxis instead.
I did not care for this one. The only thing saving this movie from being scored even lower is the beautiful visuals, (well, some of the CG was a little iffy, but I have soft spot for this Pokémon season's animation in general) so I'll try to keep this brief.
I wasn't really a fan of the way we're just thrown into the plot... the way Hoopa literally grabs our heroes out of their daily lives and plops them down into this plotline. It felt intrusive, and I wish they'd found a better way to tie this movie's story into something the gang was already working
towards. And Hoopa was obnoxious in both forms. That's kind of a tough handicap to overcome, given how much of the movie revolves around and is driven by him.
But mostly, the very idea just felt distinctly... cash-grabby. I can practically see the dollar signs (yen symbols?) that must have been in the creators' eyes when the idea of a movie that would bring together legendary Pokémon from across a whole bunch of seasons was first proposed. It's kind of funny, because I just watched Bonds Beyond Time-- the Yu-Gi-Oh movie that brings the first three main protagonists together-- and they're kind of based on that same sentiment... But it didn't bother me so much there, where each of the characters actually had their own place in the story. Here, the legendaries are popping up just to be notable cameos. I'm glad I can check this one off my list, but it just... wasn't for me.
I'll admit, it's been a long time since I've watched any recent Pokemon movies, but Hoopa and the Clash of Ages is definitely the worst out of all the ones I've seen.
There really isn't any story in this movie. Hoopa has an evil side that has to be sealed away, and then a bunch of legendaries are summoned for a battle. Seriously. That's the plot. I've just saved you an hour and fifteen minutes. The bare-bones plot doesn't hide the fact that this movie is basically advertising the games, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire specifically. All the legendary Pokemon that are summoned are ones you
can obtain in the game, the special contest Pikachus cameo for no real reason, and the special new forms of all the Hoenn legendaries get shown in their sparkly glory. This is literally a big commercial. The movie also goes on for far longer than it needs to. I kept checking the timebar begging for the movie to be over during the last 30 minutes.
The characters are bland. Hoopa is one of the most irritating talking Pokemon the movies have produced, with bad catchphrases that will no doubt get on your nerves by the end of the movie. Baraz and Meray only exist to give exposition, their characters don't exist outside of being Hoopa's friends and it shows. Ash and friends, and Team Rocket, also have little to do with anything going on. They're literally pulled into the plot and only Ash gets to really do anything. But the story could easily exist without them. Considering how interesting the Pokemon movie characters can be, this is a huge disappointment.
If you're here solely for the fight scenes, I suppose you'll be satisfied. But it's the only selling point the movie has, and they don't kick in until about half-way through the movie. So you'll have to sit through it begging for a sweet release.
Overall, Hoopa and the Clash of Ages is too long, too bare-bones, and too boring. I wouldn't even recommend it for kids, as they'll get much more excitement over any other Pokemon movie. Skip this movie unless you want to be let down.