Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution – The BRWC Review
The Pokemon Company recently have taken pleasure in trying to capture its older audience’s nostalgia. Their last three animated films have essentially been remakes of films or episodes from the Generation 1 era and with not much success at recapturing its roots.
However, that hasn’t stopped them from remaking one of my favourite films ‘Pokemon: the First Movie’ with ‘Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution’.
Like previously mentioned, ‘Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution’ is a shot-for-shot CGI remake of ‘Pokemon: the First Movie’. In the film, scientists create a new Pokemon from the DNA of legendary Pokemon Mew called Mewtwo. However, the results are disastrous.
When it comes to remakes, I consider myself fairly open minded; as long as the remake adds something new to the source material then I’m happy.
This remake adds absolutely nothing to the source material. If anything, it reduces any iconic reputation that the original has. While this version does begin with some of the original Japanese opening (which wasn’t included in the English language version), that doesn’t elevate this remake above the original.
The CGI animation style is reminiscent of the cutscenes featured in the recent Pokemon video games. Unfortunately, while this works for the games because the art style is expected, it doesn’t translate well to film and is jarring to look at here. The leathery texture of the Pokemon all look strange, aside from the water Pokemon, which suit these types of creatures because of their appearance.
With a new film comes new voicework on the film, and it shows: the delivery of the dialogue is dull in comparison to the iconic voice cast of the show and ‘First Movie’. The actors either sound bored or are putting too much effort in to try and make this stand out. The actual dialogue is essentially the same, but just said in a different way. Oddly enough, the series’ villains, Jessie and James, are the stand-out characters in terms of voicework and dialogue. Which is unfortunate, as their role in the film is to provide exposition and, therefore, do not appear in many scenes.
Furthermore, there is a lack of a musical score throughout the film. This leads me to believe that either this film had a rushed production, or the musical score was left to the last minute when making this and was, therefore, forgotten about. It makes the film feel unfinished, and the silence in most scenes really stand out when all that is heard is the dialogue and the ambient sounds. It’s altogether an extremely strange decision.
If someone doesn’t know the source material then this will probably be enjoyable. However, ‘Pokemon: The First Movie’ is one of my favourite films, so the differences are obvious and painful to see/hear. When it comes to remakes, you shouldn’t compare it to the original. However, that’s difficult to avoid in this case when ‘Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution’ is literally a shot-for-shot remake…and one that somehow fails to cash in on the nostalgia of its source material. It’s a lazy piece of production from The Pokemon Company, and surprisingly, my moderate expectations of this weren’t even remotely met.
In terms of its animated films, it’s time The Pokemon Company stopped trying to cash in on nostalgia; it’s clearly not working.
‘Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution’ is now available on Netflix
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