Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution updates classic tale

Courtesy of Game Freak, Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Game Freak, Wikimedia Commons

Chad Smith

Unlike the 1998 original film, Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution is computer-generated, and most fans may wonder it will pay homage to its predecessor.

Still included in the film are Team Rocket, the familiar villain trio of the story, who come to the aid of Ash, Misty, Brock, Pikachu and Togepi — in their usual flawed disguises — as they attempt to cross angry seas, motivated by capturing Mewtwo. The three villains, Jesse, James and Meowth use a sailboat in the form of the Pokémon Lapras and chant a song as opposed to the original “Viking” theme first introduced to the audience.

The unremitting and memorably entertaining comic-relief of Brock’s obsession with female characters, such as when Misty drags him off by the ear when he meets trainer Neesha, is still present in the new movie.

Fans of Charizard, the iconic fire Pokémon, highly anticipated the battle between Ash’s Charizard and Mewtwo’s Charizard. 

The scene still from the movie captures the two Pokémon airborne along with the powerful seismic toss that sullenly defeats Ash’s Charizard. The visuals here are definitely more aesthetically pleasing in comparison to the original and delivers even more of a cinematic impact of dragon versus dragon.

Moreover, fans will notice the use of Generation 4 movies, such as “Energy Ball” and “Leaf Storm,” when Corey’s Venasaur battles Mewtwo’s Venasaur — movies that were not in rotation at the time of the original movie.

At what is to the height of the film, emotions may not run as high as they did in the original, when Mewtwo instructs his clones to combat against the trainers’ Pokémon to prove their strengths.

There was no music score composed — as in the original — to emphasize the sensitivity during this point of the film. Although viewers may feel a subtle sense of sadness because of the urgent lyrics of the song in the first movie, the modern scene does not hold as much ground as the original scene and thus does not deliver the same level of impact.

As the film winds down, Mewtwo witnesses the sacrifice made by Ash as he attempts to part the battle between himself and Mew.

Mewtwo realizes that it is Ash’s selflessness that represents the symbol that humans and Pokémon can indeed live together in harmony and that love is more powerful than power itself.