Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution - Is It Worth It?

There's a simple equation to help figure out weather or not a film remake is good.

What did they add + What did they take away= film's value.

Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution on Netflix's value falls somewhere between the reemergence of 80's fashion and the Transformers series.

What did they add

Graphics. That's literally it. Despite it's name Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution is a remake of Pokemon: The First Movie. Of course they couldn't use that title since A: It was presumptive when it first came out despite it being true, and B: it would've been confusing because the subtitle would've had to be replaced with The Not Good One.

When I say remake I mean literally, they remade the movie. Pretty much shot-for-shot is redone in modern-ish graphics. The Pokemon themselves look about to the level of Pokemon Go, with some interesting texture work done on the fire-types flames. The human characters on the other hand all look like action figure versions of themselves, with a plastic unrealness to them that comes with trying to do a 1:1 adaptation into 3D from 2D. So basically the whole film looks like playing Pokemon Go with the AR turned on with the camera pointing at your toy collection.

What did they take away

Here's where things get more complicated.

When Pokemon: The First Movie first came out it was a big deal, like Endgame big deal. Pokemon was the biggest franchise in the world at the time, and the movie had every kid in the world on their toes begging their parents to see it. On top of that the movie tied directly into the then popular TV show, where Mewtwo was only hinted at in cool edgy clips that would later feature in the movie. We wanted to see Ash and Pikachu go up against Mewtwo on the big screen, and what we got was an incredibly fun adventure with better graphics than the show and all the fan service we could ever want.

The issue with this remake is that in polishing the graphics they accidentally polished all the magic off of the film. There's nothing new here that we wanted to see. I hate to say it but Detective Pikachu with it's incredibly stupid plot and bad human actors gave us more of what Pokemon: The First Movie had than this train wreck. We got to see Pokemon in a new light, with better graphics interacting in the real world.

The Verdict:

Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolved is an evolutionary dead end. In an age where it feels like everything is getting a remake or refresh (Looking at you Disney's The Lion King from 2019), the question needs to be weather or not the new interpretation adds to the original or is just trying to hop on a long passed gravy train. Mewtwo adds nothing to the source material, even actively missing the point altogether and thus almost hurting the original. Pokemon as a franchise can certainly afford a hit like this, since they are still one of the most popular franchises in the world (Incidentally if anyone has Pokemon Sword and wants to trade drop me a message) but I still expect better.

Graphics + Nostalgia polish off = Bad remake


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