Movie Review: Pokemon Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution
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Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution Is Netflix’s Newest Pokemon Offering

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BY March 24, 2022

Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution is the newest movie in the Pokemon franchise. The worldwide phenomenon known as Pokemon evolved from a Gameboy game. Over the years it has become one of the world’s most successful multimedia franchises. With its new home at Netflix, audiences are seeing more and more original Pokemon anime. And Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution could be the start of something new. 

The Story Of Pokemon In Anime, Manga and Video Games

Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution Games Image via Nintendo

The first-ever Pokemon anime movie came out in 1998. It introduced us a world full of magical creatures known as Pokemon. Pokemon trainers learn to capture and domesticate the creatures for many practical uses. Some also just enjoy them as pets. But the world of Pokemon is best known for the competitive trainer battles. Humans engage in battles with their Pokemon in the pursuit of fame and respect. The movie was about the adventures of  a young boy named Ash Ketchum. It was all about his journey to become the world’s greatest Pokemon trainer. Along the way he made friends, caught new Pokemon, and had many adventures. 

This is the premise that makes up most the Pokemon video games. Not to mention the stories in the mangas, anime movies and TV series as well. Then, there was a resurgence with the Augmented Reality of mobile gaming with Pokemon Go. Since then, the Pokemon franchise reinvigoration cotinued.  There was a new series, as well as the Netflix original, Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution 

Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution Is Actually A Reboot Of The Original

Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution Poster Image via Toho

While Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution looks like a brand new Pokemon movie, it’s actually not. The ‘Evolution’ tag of its title differs it from the first-ever Pokemon anime movie. The storyline of Evolution is an exact beat by beat replica of the first story as well. When I first heard about this movie, I wondered why there is a reboot to the original. Especially when it doesn’t seem to deviate too much from the original. But upon actually seeing the film, it’s pretty clear what the intention was. It’s an updated anime style to entice newer generations to the franchise. 

The Animation Style of Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution Is Stunning

Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution Poster Image via Netflix.

Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution is completely in the CGI style of anime. The characters, the world and the Pokemon, are CGI representations of the originals. While most 2D to 3D CGI animation updates are less than great, this is very well done. The animation feels almost seamless when it comes to bringing the world Pokemon to life. Ash, Brock and Misty look like realistic representations of their originals. With a lot more visual depth and substance. And the animation is in such a style that it never feels obvious or jarring. You are still caught up in the story, and lost in the plot progression. With little to no awareness of the new animation style. It’s a testament for a movie to so seamlessly update an original property with new and improved graphics. But also to have them add to the nostalgia instead of taking away from it. 

Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution Recreates A Classic

Mewtwo Image via Netflix.

The reasoning behind rebooting the first-ever Pokemon movie seems obvious. The story itself stands the test of time and features all you need to know about the world, before diving into it. The story starts as a group of Pokemon scientists find the trace of a mythical Pokemon called Mew. While most Pokemon are basically animals found in the wild, Mew is a myth. Taking fossils of the Pokemon, the scientists clone a new stronger version. Mewtwo is born but has telepathic abilities and a strong identity crisis. This is due to becoming sentient in a lab and not being in control of his impulses. Given his strength and powers, he escapes into the world to try to figure out what his purpose is. 

On the other side of the world, Ash Ketchum continues his quest to become a great Pokemon trainer. Him and his friends receive a mysterious invitation to join a Pokemon competition. Convenient. But what if it’s too good to be true? Ash and his friends end up caught up in Mewtwo’s plans for the world. And it’s up to them to be representatives for the good of, not just humanity, but also Pokemon themselves. 

Evolution Maintains What Made The Original Great

Cast Image via Netflix.

Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution makes some tweaks to the original story. But it retains what made the movie a classic. Mewtwo’s internal conflict of self and purpose. The human characters’ relationships with their Pokemon. Ash and his signature Pokemon, Pikachu’s loving bond. And action sequences that fully display what Pokemon can do. It’s a great summary of this world and what it’s about. Through Mewtwo’s struggle, the audience gets to lear about the main idea of the Pokemon franchise. It’s the perfect gateway into the franchise for new audiences. While the movie is just a reboot of the original, it still stands out. The classic story combined with brand new visuals which are stunning, make this worth a watch.

Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution is now streaming on Netflix.

What did you think of the new Pokemon reboot? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at or on Twitter @theshahshahid.


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