Pokémon

This image is the official title screen for Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution. According to IMDB.com under the article “Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution Company Credits”, IMDB explains that “the credit as well as the rights for this film belong to Oriental Light and Magic Inc., Pikachu Project, TV Tokyo Corporation, The Pokémon Company, and Wit Studio” (1).  These are the production companies that are responsible for this film in addition to this image.  This image is on The Official Pokémon YouTube Channel under the video Mewtwo is back. | Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution now on Netflix! At 1:33.

Spoiler Warning for this Review

Greetings fellow Geek Street Society members. I hope you’re having a good day, afternoon, or evening whenever you’re seeing this.  Within this review, I will be discussing both the original as well as the remake of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back.  Therefore, there’s going to be a spoiler warning for this review.  If you haven’t already, please watch Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution on Netflix.  Then, come back to this review to read it fully.  Thank you for reading this spoiler warning and please enjoy this review.

Being able to Remake a Classic like Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back is Incredibly Ambitious

Within the Pokémon franchise, there has been many films.  These moments introduce new characters as well as new stories.  Most of the time, these films are made to show off the legendary Pokémon of that region.  Every Pokémon fan in the community has their own favorite.  For instance, my favorite Pokémon film is Pokémon: Spell of the Unown.  With so many to choose from, there’s one Pokémon film that is someone’s favorite.  There’s always one film that most people in the Pokémon community remember.  This one is the very first Pokémon film, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back.  Anyone who grew up in the 1990s will remember when Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back came out.  KidsWB was advertising it like crazy and everyone was talking about it. Especially since at the time, Pokémon mania had completely taken over the United States.

As to be expected, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back did exceptionally well.  Not only being the first theatrical Pokémon release, but defining Mewtwo.  Since the beginning, GameFreak has given a lot of development to Mewtwo.  With that said, this film was the original opening to the world of Mewtwo.  It’s because of this film that Mewtwo is the way it is today.  Then, The Pokémon Company reveal a remake name Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution.  When the confirmation of this film went public, many were skeptical.  Then on February 27, 2020, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution came to audiences as a Netflix original.  Does this film hold up to the original? Let’s find out together.  In this review, we’re analyzing what changes have come from Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution by examining the story, characters, animation, and music.

The Story in Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is Exactly the Same as the Original

Firstly, let’s take a look at the story.  Basically, the story is the same as the original.  Nothing within this film has change.  Much like The Lion King that Walt Disney Pictures release last year.  Honestly, I was expecting some change in the story.  More specifically, with showing Mewtwo’s origin.  In the original film, there was a Japanese Original Video Animation otherwise known as an OVA.  In that Japanese OVA,  the origin of Mewtwo.  Eventually, the English dub got this version.  However, this OVA was reveal after the English dub film went into theaters.  When in reality, the Japanese OVA of Mewtwo’s original was in the film.  Regardless, it was a little disappointing to not have some new content.  Especially since the first film, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back was such an important film in the franchise.  Since it was the first theatrical film Pokémon had done before.

More than likely, many of us remember seeing the original film in theaters.  I know I remember how much excitement I had with seeing Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back in theaters.  So, I was excepting some new twist in the story.  Particularly since recently film companies especially Disney has been remaking films.  While some are the same, many of the stories are in fact different.  They take the liberty of putting in some new elements in the film to give a new spin.  One example of this is the 2017 remake film, Beauty and the Beast.  There are story elements that are from the original 1991 version but also moments from the book.  Which is why I was kind of looking forward to some new elements.  Unfortunately, no new story elements are put into this film.  As such, the characters really haven’t change from the original film.

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution Doesn’t Put Any Effort into Mewtwo’s Character

Now, let’s take a look at the characters in Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution.  Since this film is the exact same the original, the characters don’t change.  The only thing that I can really seem like really changes in the character is the voices.  Which is this film’s greatest weakness.  The dialogue that this remake has is different in many ways from the original.  However, the power of the characters really shows in the original unfortunately.  Now, I’m really not trying to disrespect the voice actors in this remake.  With that said, I feel like the voice actors play a role to convey the characters to the audience.  Which is what Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution fails at.  Granted, this film does have original voice actors from the original Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back.  These voices include Mewtwo and the scientist who creates Mewtwo, Mr. Fuji.

To be fair, being able to replicate the original voice for Mewtwo would be incredibly hard.  Within the Pokémon franchise, Mewtwo is a staple within the franchise.  Every once in a while, GameFreak will show how much they appreciate Mewtwo.  For instance, Mewtwo was one of the few Pokémon that receive two mega evolutions in Pokémon X and Y.  Although, in this remake, the voice actor of Mewtwo doesn’t seem enthusiastic about being there.  Also, the dialogue for Mewtwo in this remake is incredibly basic.  While yes, this story is about Mewtwo finding his purpose. However, in the original, Mewtwo has moments where he’s monologuing his thoughts.  He’s looking at the world around him because he’s lost.  The audience can feel that his struggle.  Yet, in the remake, the dialogue consistently focuses on the “Who Am I?” question.  Just like Mewtwo, Ash and the other characters feel one dimensional.

Ash and Company Didn’t Transition Well into Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution

Since this is a remake, this story focuses on the classic trio.  Which includes Ash, Brock, and Misty from the original Pokémon series.  Now, in some ways, this remake is awesome.  Especially since the first generation of Pokémon is on Netflix.  Therefore, newer generations will be able to see this film and recognize the characters.  Yet, the trio as well as the other characters in this film feel incredibly one dimensional.  To be fair, this does have to do with the choice of dialogue as well as the voice acting.  One of the characters that is incredibly annoying in this film is Brock.  Within the anime, Brock has a lot of hilarious moments.  He’s incredibly knowledgeable, but he has his hilarious moments in his infatuation with women. However, in this remake, they made Brock unlikable.  He’s way too over the top and his dialogue doesn’t help him at all.

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Honestly, the dialogue in this film affects a lot of characters.  Ash and Misty, have it no better.  Misty’s voice actress seems to be working too hard.  That’s a problem since the voice of the character feels like a voice actress playing a role. Instead of the character mending well in the universe.  Jessie, James, and Meowth dialogue is incredibly one dimensional.  There dialogue and voices are incredibly mediocre. In fact, even the minor character are less than desirable. The writers change the dialogue for these characters as well.   Although the original Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back hasn’t age well, the dialogue fits within the story.  Plus, the voice acting hasn’t help this film in the slightest.  Which is what this film does lack in.  However, the animation in this film has significantly change from the original.

The Animation in Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is a Mixture of Good and Bad

The animation in this film is significantly different from the first film.  Firstly, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is completely in 3D animation.  Originally, the original was in 2D with some sprinkles of 3D animation.  When Pokémon: Mewtwo Strike Back first came out, animation companies were experimenting with this new art style.  As such, there are some use of 3D animation in the original.  However, ninety percent of the film is in hand drawn animation.  With Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, the whole film is in 3D animation.  Yet, this animation isn’t the same as Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.  When this animation is first seen, it’s a little weird to get use to.  To be fair, the Pokémon models look amazing.  They have this like realistic yet cartoonish look about them.  Yet, these models not too off putting.

With that said, the human models are creepy.  I don’t mean to be harsh, but they are.  Each character has this weird animation with their mouths.  Where when they talk, the audience sees a lot of teeth.  Granted, you see teeth in the original.  However, most of the human animation is very uncomfortable.  Especially when it comes to Brock’s animation.  The animators went obnoxiously over the top even to the point of not being enjoyable.  Brock was over the top, but audiences heard that through dialogue.  Not through the animation because that can get obnoxious. Even though some of the animation has mix reactions, the cinematic are very well done.  Moments with rain, storms, and water are incredibly well done.  So, all in all, the animation is mixture of good and bad.  Honestly, the same goes for the music in this film.

Honestly, the Music in Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is Well Done

One of the factors I was looking to was the music.  Mainly because in the original film, the music was so grant.  In fact, I still listen to the soundtrack of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back.  Honestly, the music is done very well in this film.  Granted, there isn’t a point in the film where I can remember a music piece.  However, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution really shines in the sound editing.  There are several moments in the film where there’s complete silence.  Which isn’t typical with children’s films.  Unless that scenes is to create tension.  Which is exactly what this film does.  While the music isn’t anything to shake a stick at, the sound editing is incredibly well done.  Most notably when Ash gets turn to stone.  In the original, there was this piece that really pulls the string of the audience.

However, with Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, the strength of this film is the silent moments.  Which is what this film does perfectly.  While Pikachu is crying in distress, there’s no audio to shield that raw emotion.  I know I have given this film a lot of criticism.  Alas, this moment can’t be left unnoticed because it is such a powerful moment.  Then, the music slowly fades in to swell up the moment.  So, while this remake doesn’t have the best music. Defiantly listen to the original film for theatrical music.  With that said, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution does get massive praises in the sound editing department.

Just Stick to the Original When it Comes to Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back

In this review, we thoroughly analyze the remake of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back.  Firstly, we took a look at the story.  Unsurprisingly, this film hasn’t change the story at all.  There could have been opportunity to include some of the memories Mewtwo had into the story.  However, this isn’t the case.  Additionally, the characters didn’t improve at all.  If anything, there likability went down.  With the lack of effort with the voice acting in addition to the dialogue.  I didn’t feel any connection with the characters.  Next, we took a look at the animation.  Undoubtedly, the Pokémon in this film have the best character models.  While not completely realistic, the Pokémon felt incredibly perfect in this universe.  The same can’t be said about the human models.  While the models are a mixture of emotions, the music is done well.

While not nearly as good as the original, the sound editing is where this film shines in.  Leaving in moments of silence makes sense even more powerful.  Which is what this film does incredibly well on.  All in all, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is a remake that shouldn’t have happened.  There’s nothing wrong with remakes.  However, remakes need to be original and show their own creativity.  This film doesn’t deliver and gives viewers a lower quality remake of an already classic film.

Open for Discussion

Thank you for reading this review.  It’s that time again for discussion time! Now then, what did you think of this film? Did you like it? Was it better than the original? Perhaps, the original is better than this remake? Fill free to let us know in the comments below.

If you want to watch this remake, follow this link to watch it on Netflix.  Since this film is a Netflix original, the first place people can watch it.  You do have to have a Netflix account in order to see this film.  However, with many states using the stay-at-home enactment, now would be the best time to give it a watch.

Furthermore, if you like what you see here, follow this link to a review regarding the PlayStation 5.  In that review, I go into deep detail regarding the PlayStation 5 technical specs press conference.

Finally, if you want to receive any news regarding pop-culture, create an account today at Geek Street Society. 

Thank you once again and stay tuned for more news here on Geek Street Society. Please stay safe and wash your hands thoroughly.

Word Cited 

“Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution Company Credits.” Edited by IMDb.com, Inc., IMDb, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/title/tt8856470/companycredits?ref_=tt_dt_co.

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