Pokemon: Mewtwo Returns Movie Review
Whatever magic Pokémon: The Movie might have had is gone in this bland and boring television special.
The first Pokémon movie had its problems, but the story, which revolved around clone Mewtwo and his thirst for revenge against its creators, was the most intriguing part about the feature film based on the extremely popular portable games. Mewtwo Returns is a direct-to-video follow-up to the first movie, but whatever magic Pokémon: The Movie might have had is gone in this bland and boring television special.
After learning that Pokémon and humans could live peacefully, genetically engineered creature Mewtwo and all the clones he had created disappear into the horizon. That happened in the first Pokémon movie, but now that the leader of the Team Rocket, found Mewtwo’s location, he won’t pass the opportunity of capturing one of the rarest and most powerful Pokémon on the planet. Ash and his trusty friends Pikachu, Misty and Brock are traveling to the nearest gym and happen to be in Mt. Quena and they decide to defend Mewtwo from Giovanni and all of his henchmen.
If you can’t tell from the description, this TV special is basically a longer episode from the series and suffers from the same problems. The sense of humor (which usually comes from Team Rocket) falls flat, the plot is predictable and the animation is nothing to write home about. Some rare Pokémon like Mewtwo make an appearance which makes this special actually special, but everyone who’s familiar with the series and the movies have watched this story dozens of times. For instance, at the end of Pokémon: The Movie, Mewtwo made all the humans forget about the events that transpired, so this is the perfect chance to explain everything that happened all over again. In other words, it all feels forced and trite.
But for all its problems, this TV special manages to raise some philosophical questions: do clones deserve to lead happy lives like real Pokémon? What are clones? Just mere reflections of the real creatures or individuals with thoughts and feelings of their own? So at least there’s something that deviates from the traditional formula. Also, there’s a message of pro-nature, but that idea contradicts the very nature of the Pokémon franchise (humans take Pokémon from their natural habitat to collect them and use them to fight other trainers.)
Mewtwo Returns is a way of tying loose ends (mainly, the events that happened after the first movie) which is not necessarily a bad idea, but while the premise might sound inviting at first, the rest of the special is mediocre. The repetitive nature of the story is underwhelming, the lack of action will disappoint fans, the sub-plot is contradictory to the very nature of the series and there are several unnecessary scenes that don’t make a lot of sense (such as Meowth translating other Pokémon speeches.) There’s a compelling premise, but for the most part, Mewtwo Returns is a direct-to-video special that’s just dull and boring.