After reviewing Pokemon the First Movie, I jumped right into Pokemon 2000: The Power of One. I definitely saw this in theaters when it released, and again, my mom took my friend and I to see it. I have the Ancient Mew promotional card to prove my mother’s suffering. So, without skipping a beat, let’s dive right into this!
The movie begins with Lawrence III (which implies that there were others) giving a monologue to himself about the legendary prophecy that deals with the three bird Pokemon (Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres), as his ship hovers over the Orange Islands in Johto. He intends on capturing them in order to flush out the guardian of the area; Lugia. He’s a collector… who actually looks like the anime version of Marvel’s Collector, and he’s hell-bent on capturing Lugia for… reasons that aren’t ever explained. He’s just an asshole, okay? That’s what they do.
Without much effort, he ensnares Moltres, and this sets off a chain reaction that causes terrible weather around the area. Naturally, Ash and the gang find themselves traveling through the Orange Islands while this is happening and wind up on Shamouti Island, where there festival surrounding the legend has just begun.
This festival includes a ceremony whereby a “lucky” guy is chosen to enact the prophecy ritual of going to each of the three islands, grabbing a special sphere, and bringing them across the water to place on a special shrine. See, the legend itself talks about how Lugia will be unable to quell the fighting if the harmony of fire, ice, and lightening are disturbed, thus the world shall turn to ash. The people of the island think it’s cute to put someone named Ash to the task of playing out the role, because it plays right into the legend.
As the movie progresses, Lawrence captures Zapdos along with Ash and the gang. He tells them of his plan… and then let’s them all go. I guess he’s really not evil, he’s just an asshole. Ash and friends don’t care for Lawrence’s plan and end up freeing Moltres and Zapdos, who then end up attack the ship and bring it down. I guess, maybe, you shouldn’t have told the gang what you were doing and then let them go. They totally bitched and complained about how terrible this whole thing was… did you really think they weren’t going to do anything?
Ash ends up accepting his role as “the chosen one” and goes about grabbing the spheres from the other islands in order to restore balance. Like the legend foretells, Lugia is unable to stop the fighting on its own and really does need to rely on Ash. After all three are placed on the shrine, a special song is played by one of the islanders and it activates special glowy water that… restores balance. For reasons. The movie ends with Lawrence picking up his ancient Mew card among the wreckage and reflecting on how it’s what started his collection, and time to start again.
I definitely remember liking this more when I was a kid. Being 12, I really didn’t need any real explanation for anything, especially when it was an excuse to see Pokemon on the big screen. As I reflect on it, I can’t really justify why anything happens. I would have liked to have learned more about the “villain” of the film, his backstory and motives. I had to do some digging to find out that he’s a scientific genius, likely designed his tech, and is a basic egomaniac that holds himself and his collection to the highest degree. That’s why he continues on with his task of capturing everything, because he legitimately doesn’t care. As a whole, he just doesn’t seem fleshed out within the movie.
My other main issue comes from the prophecy itself. I’d like to know where it all came from and if it happened at some other time. Backstory!
The dialogue feels a little dated as well. This is one of the few times we see Misty truly express herself in regards to her feelings for Ash, and he’s oblivious to it. She’s also quite jealous of Melody, one of the islanders, who openly expresses interest in Ash… which he is also oblivious to. The conversations surrounding it all are definitely age appropriate if you’re, say 10-12, but cause me to cringe as a 27 year old.
Oh, and I was told to mention how “fucking irritating those goddamn bird are” by my fiance, who sat through this with me. Otherwise, I still like it. This is also nostalgic, but maybe less so than the first movie. I’ve seen it a few times, but I don’t think I’ve ever liked it as much as the first movie. It certain doesn’t warrant the 15% critics gave it, but it’s also not the best thing I’ve ever seen, even in the Pokemon universe.