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Thread: Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea (M09)

  1. #451
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wednesdayz View Post
    Agreed. May starring with Manaphy was good enough, though I didn't like how Ash was the one who basically saved the day while May was stuck in an escape pod...
    That part of this film towards the end did seem kind of awkward to me cuz May had seemed like the film's heroine the whole time, but then suddenly Ash became the hero while May was tossed aside. But at least she got many scenes to herself. :]

  2. #452
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    Other than May's uselessness at the movie's climax, another thing that seemed useless here was TR. Like, why were they even shown here. :/

  3. #453
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wednesdayz View Post
    Other than May's uselessness at the movie's climax, another thing that seemed useless here was TR. Like, why were they even shown here. :/
    I didn't think they served a big purpose either, tho in their defense they frequently get similar small roles in most films. Still, I loved when Manaphy's Heart Swap exchanged their personalities around cuz it was the film's funniest scene. :3

  4. #454
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Oreo View Post
    I didn't think they served a big purpose either, tho in their defense they frequently get similar small roles in most films. Still, I loved when Manaphy's Heart Swap exchanged their personalities around cuz it was the film's funniest scene. :3
    It was funny sure, though it sucks how it was Manaphy's only attack and was used just for giggles. Sigh. We should've learned more about Manaphy's past.

  5. #455
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wednesdayz View Post
    It was funny sure, though it sucks how it was Manaphy's only attack and was used just for giggles. Sigh. We should've learned more about Manaphy's past.
    I do kind of wish that we had found out more regarding how the People of the Water were connected to Manaphy and specifically how they built the sea temple itself and for what purpose. It just always fascinated me hee hee.

  6. #456
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Oreo View Post
    I do kind of wish that we had found out more regarding how the People of the Water were connected to Manaphy and specifically how they built the sea temple itself and for what purpose. It just always fascinated me hee hee.
    I figure that the temple was built just as a secure storing space for the "Sea Crown" thing that Phantom was after.

  7. #457
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    I watched Ranger back-to-back with Jirachi because I had heard that they were fairly similar. Well, that’s the nice way of putting it; my source called Ranger derivative. And I can see the argument for that. Both films have a travelling circus as a backdrop, a sleeping Legendary Pokemon that reaches out to touch one of the Maple kids (yeah, yeah…fan last name. Roll with it), the Pokemon needs to be delivered to a specific location, and Jirachi and Manaphy even have some slight similarity in design.

    But there are significant differences as well. For one thing, the circus backdrop isn’t utilized to the same extent here.Whereas Jirachi put the titular character’s bond with Max front and center, Ranger leads with the quest to protect Manaphy and get her safely delivered to the Sea Temple. Jirachi’s plot had an episodic structure (and suffered for it), while Ranger’s has a more conventionally cinematic layout. That’s a strength in this movie.

    It has others as well. The TRio makes some difference to the plot. Jackie is probably the best CotD to grace the movies since Revelation Lugia; he’s an engaging man of action who matters to the story without completely taking it over (though TCPi could’ve done better in casting; he sounds a bit like a jock at times). Ranger doesn’t have the sort of awkward, out-of-place story elements that harmed Jirachi. And it has some lovely art direction.

    But Ranger has its own weaknesses too. The over-the-top design for Phantom the Pirate may have worked, had this film taken a much more comedic turn. But the story on-had is given the same sort of weight as any of the other pokefilms, and it’s hard to take Phantom seriously as a villain in that story thanks to his design. Jackie’s decision to leave the kids behind once they get to the ship, while logical (does that make him the only responsible adult in this series?) creates a lag in the plot right in the middle of the story, and the pace remains sluggish until May’s bandanna goes missing. That’s a long time for the plot to be stalled. This is already the longest of the pokefilms, I believe; it doesn’t need to feel even longer.

    But one of the biggest flaws in Ranger is May’s relationship with Manaphy IMO. I know a fair few were moved by it, and I won’t say it doesn’t have charm. Travelling companions having anything to do in these movies, let alone a proper arc, is frustratingly rare, so just having a story for May is nice. But compared to Max and Jirachi’s bond in the latter’s film, May and Manaphy don’t get as much focus in Ranger. The larger plot of seeing Manaphy safely to her destiny dominates, and it costs the relationship both screen time and status as the thematic core of the picture. It’s not until May overhears Jackie and Ash’s conversation that her bond with Manaphy is used to the same effect that Max’s bond with Jirachi was, but without proper build-up, it doesn’t have the same impact.

    There’s also the problem of Ash. As in Jirachi, he takes on a supporting role here. But whereas Jirachi positioned him as a mentor to Max, Ranger doesn’t give him that sort of clear role in relation to May. His admiration of Jackie is a believable character trait, but it doesn’t manifest as a clear subplot, and what scenes are given to it also take away from May’s time with Manaphy. Most frustrating of all, however, is the finale. Jirachi put Ash into a team with Max, Jirachi, and Butler, and that team saved the day together. Ranger robs May, Manaphy, and even Pikachu of any agency in the resolution of the conflict. Instead, Ash restores the Sea Crown, and is given some magic powers - the King of the Sea - that let him save the day. To give this power to Ash - who hasn’t had any meaningful ties to Manaphy or the Sea Temple’s story up to that point - makes no sense. It’s a maddening story turn, very much like Goku just randomly getting the Dragon Fist technique at the end of Wrath of the Dragon despite having no great ties to the conflict prior to that.

    Yes, Manaphy does help save herself at the very end, but that feels rather tacked on, an unnecessary denouement after the plot is basically over. This is probably the most frustrating resolution to a pokefilm.

  8. #458
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    Quote Originally Posted by zdbz_sn View Post
    Jirachi put Ash into a team with Max, Jirachi, and Butler, and that team saved the day together. Ranger robs May, Manaphy, and even Pikachu of any agency in the resolution of the conflict. Instead, Ash restores the Sea Crown, and is given some magic powers - the King of the Sea - that let him save the day. To give this power to Ash - who hasn’t had any meaningful ties to Manaphy or the Sea Temple’s story up to that point - makes no sense. It’s a maddening story turn, very much like Goku just randomly getting the Dragon Fist technique at the end of Wrath of the Dragon despite having no great ties to the conflict prior to that.
    I thank god I wasn't the only one confused at this. Having Ash stuffing everyone else in a tank to deal with things himself (without Pikachu even) was just...weird.


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