Pokemon The Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened Review: More of the Same, Yet Entertaining

When I think of Pokemon movies, I fondly remember going to see the first movie in theaters as part of my friend’s birthday party. I remember being handed this promo card of Mewtwo, and I must say that was a great night. So when I found out that the most recently released Pokemon movie had Mewtwo in it, I was hit by a wave of longing nostalgia and decided that I had to review Pokemon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened. I’ve seen many of the Pokemon movies, some of them are good and some of them not so much. I went into this movie knowing that it could go either way and I was pleasantly surprised all things considered.

Genesect and the Legend Awakened stars Mewtwo as it encounters a group of roaming Genesect. Using its powers, Mewtwo learns that the Genesect are created and modified by humans based on old fossils. So for those familiar with the older Pokemon, it is clear that Mewtwo has something in common with them. However, the red Genesect that is leading the group doesn’t seem particularly interested in being friends with Mewtwo and attacks. They go off in search of their home, which they believe is a city (that suspiciously looks a lot like New York City) that Ash and his latest group of friends happen to be visiting.

pkmn_movie_screenshot1I don’t know how he does it, but Ash has somehow not aged a day over the course of his journey. By now he’s probably been traveling as a Pokemon Trainer for years…must be really good genetics in his family, or something. As Ash and his friends explore the city along with the Pokemon Park, they encounter the Genesect squad and soon become entangled in an all out brawl that takes place between Mewtwo and the red Genesect. Of course, no death match between legendary Pokemon would be complete without putting some amount of human lives at stake. The entire city is in danger of being destroyed if the generator powering it cannot be reclaimed from the Genesects. So just like basically all the Pokemon movies, Ash and whomever he happens to be traveling with must find a way to prevent whatever disaster is going on at present.

As mentioned above, the plot of this movie is essentially standard fare for any Pokemon film. It almost always features at least one legendary, and said legendary is usually capable of speech unlike the garden variety type Pokemon that are seen everywhere else. As usual, Ash somehow always finds himself in the middle of these events involving legendary Pokemon. Of course, Ash’s and other character’s involvement in the plot changes between movies, and in some way they help resolve whatever the conflict is. Although in this movie, it felt like Ash and his friends were more bystanders rather than participants, as all the Pokemon involved did most of the work in resolving the Genesect problem.

pkmn_movie_screenshot7My interest in Pokemon has come and gone over the years, and so I didn’t always keep up with all the latest Pokemon that came out. So several hundred Pokemon later, I barely recognize half the creatures jumping around on the screen. Of course, I imagine this will be less of an issue for more active Pokemon fans. However, I do like that they included lots of Pokemon from the first two generations of the games, as it made it feel more familiar to old fans of the series like myself. Even seeing the incompetent trio that is Team Rocket was great for people who haven’t been following the anime for some time. Although, I question why Team Rocket was even in this movie as they add nothing to the story aside from momentary comedy relief.

Visually speaking, this movie is incredible with its animation and the quality of the sets. Although, I should mention that part of the city shown later on in the movie was immersion-breaking for me, as it looked more like a Japanese version of Time Square and less like a city you’d expect to see in the Pokemon world. That aside though, the show certainly has come a long way (visually speaking) since the early days.

pkmn_movie_screenshot5Speaking of the early days, there were certainly quite a few changes voice wise that were a little jarring. I was certainly surprised when Mewtwo spoke with a female voice, as I’m used to his original voice. Yet that and all other voice changes were easy enough to get used to and didn’t bother me after awhile. Ash sounds fairly close to his original voice, although it is clear that it is not the original voice actor from the 4kids Regime of Ludicrous Censorship. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the voices are bound to change eventually given how long Pokemon has been around.

Although the story is fairly typical and safe for a Pokemon movie, it was still a lot of fun to watch. The battles were really engaging and fast paced, and the fight between Genesect and Mewtwo was very well put together with great visual effects to show just how powerful these two particular Pokemon are. For what it is worth, I had fun watching this movie and never once did I feel like I wanted to stop watching it and do something else.

pkmn_movie_screenshot2Genesect and the Legend Awakened has a lot to offer for new and old fans alike, and that is working well for it. In fact, I’d recommend it to current Pokemon fans and to anyone like myself who was around in the old days of Pokemon Red and Blue. The latter of that may seem strange, but this movie provides an entertaining experience even for those who may have stopped watching the show long ago. While you may not recognize some of the characters or Pokemon, there is enough familiarity to have it feel like it is part of the same series that you have fond memories of.