As someone who is not really into the series enough to call himself a fan, I did see the rebooted movie from last year and went to see this with some good excitement. Last year's movie had absolutely gorgeous artwork and great animation. There was an antagonist who was befriended in the end, Ash had a goal of meeting and battling Ho-Oh, and the battles throughout the film were fun and interesting spectacles to see.
This movie has none of that. Yes, the artwork is good and so is the animation, but there aren't any breathtaking scenes like in the first movie. No gorgeous artwork or background shots. Just standard shots without anything specifically noticeable unlike I Choose You! where we saw a butterfree fly off with a flock of others or the beautiful vistas of the forest and nature. But what sets this film apart and makes it so boring is that there is no central antagonist to it. The main conflict of the movie is two disasters concerning the environment and the town itself. The second half of the movie is Ash and a group of relative strangers the movie gave focus to trying to stop the disasters (non-natural, of course) from destroying the town and hurting people and Pokemon.
Because there is no central antagonist, we don't have the interest of seeing his or her evil ways put to an end. There is no motivation to see justice served. There also aren't really any Pokemon battles. Yes, there are a few tiny skirmishes that involve capturing Pokemon, but nothing like last year's reboot. The battles in this film are very short, basic, and nothing spectacular. They are not a focus in this movie like they were in last year's because the point is the story. But there again is the problem. The story is just characters reacting to some disasters that hurt people and Pokemon. There isn't a fight or big climactic battle like Ash & Pikachu vs Ho-Oh or the mean guy who only wanted powerful Pokemon.
Thus we get a film about five or so random characters and how they interact with a festival going on in the town the movie takes place in (I forget the name). There is a contest going on, but naturally it's interrupted early on in the film. Team Rocket makes an appearance and causes the disaster to happen, but they don't do much else besides that. They don't get punished in the end or anything. They are more of a plot device to cause a conflict than any real villain. They are a tool in this movie to move the plot forward.
All in all, I was disappointed. I wanted plenty of awesome battles. I wanted an antagonist who had to be beaten and maybe befriended. I wanted Ash to have a real goal besides "help save the town." I wanted the characters to do something besides saving a town via methods that don't really involve fighting other Pokemon. Hopefully next year's movie is better.