As my adventure through the Pokémon films continues, I made my way to Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias, the fifth Pokémon movie overall. This movie was released in 2002 and follows the adventures of Ash, Misty, and Brock in the town of Alto Mare (a place that bears a significant resemblance to Venice). This town is protected by two legendary Pokémon named Latios and Latias and, predictably, members of Team Rocket want these magnificent creatures for their own nefarious ends.
By and large I really liked Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias. Alto Mare is a beautifully rendered location with adorable Pokémon around every corner. There’s a fun opening scene with Ash and Misty taking part in a water-chariot race (Totodile is adorable). I was initially dismissive of the idea that there were Pokémon modeled after fighter jets, but that is indeed what Latios and Latias are and it just works! They’re incredibly cute (as most Pokémon are), and you can get a pretty good idea of what they’re saying to each other, an impressive feat since neither speaks a recognizable language. Also I think it’s really fun that Latios and Latias can take human form, though I am disappointed that we didn’t get to see the human form of Latios.
That being said…there were a few things that bothered me with this movie. First of all, there’s the extremely limited presence of Brock and Misty in the film. By and large, these two don’t do very much, especially compared to the previous four films. Ash does most of the work this time. And then there’s the almost complete absence of Team Rocket (Jessie, James and Meowth) from this story. Really, aside from a glorified cameo, they don’t play any part in this story whatsoever and I am not okay with this. Here’s the thing, if you aren’t going to involve this trio in the story, then don’t include them at all. For that matter, Annie and Oakley are okay villains (I especially like Oakley’s power trip at the climax of the film), but we don’t really know that much about them (and no, that one line about Giovanni is not enough, I want backstory for my villains).
Ultimately, while I enjoyed Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias, it is inferior to the first Pokémon movie (which admittedly set a pretty high bar). However, don’t let that stop you from checking this movie out. As with any lengthy film series, there are highs and lows, and this one just isn’t the best (it’s still fun though!)
Oh, and for what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure that’s Latias at the end of the film. I know it’s supposed to be up in the air, but I can’t see it being anyone else.
Let me know what you think about Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias in the comments below and have a great day!
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