Sporting another unwieldy title, the cinematic reboot of the 'Evangelion' series continues with 'Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance).'
Did you see the first film? If not, go watch it before you read this. Go on.
If you saw the first film of this reboot awhile ago, read that review to reacquaint yourself.
Angels are still threatening to destroy Earth and are still being rebuffed by Shinji and Rei, the teen pilots of giant mechanical 'bots known as EVAs.
Adding to the usual stress of adolescence and the fate of the world being in the balance, a new member is added to the team, a standoffish girl named Asuka. Her presence radically shakes up the group's dynamic.
The relationship between Shinji and his father is more strained than ever. Will that wound be mended? Will the planet finally be destroyed by one of these interstellar attackers? What's the deal with that Mari girl who pops up every now and again?
Just because there is more character development and internalized teen angst in this volume doesn't mean that you'll be left wanting for robotic action. Things stay nice and ridiculously epic. Learning more about the characters and the whole NERV organization fills in a lot of blanks whereas before, we were just launched into action and had to learn about the characters in between.
Expect a few huge revelations in this. At least one of these probably could have been done with a little more subtlety or even delayed until later. Oh well, maybe it will be dealt with more thoroughly in the next film.
There are a few wildly confusing musical choices (bordering on karaoke or J-Pop) during a few fight sequences. It doesn't fit the mood at all, but could be acknowledging the source material. There are also a few sedate still images at various points with touching piano music that wouldn't be out of place with Charlie Brown and company.
Special features include: commentary, trailers, TV spots, and some deleted scenes.
The job of a second chapter is the raise the stakes and to take us deeper into a story. That is done in spades here. In fact, considering how 'Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance' leaves off, it's hard to see where things will go from here.
Rated PG-13 108 minutes 2009