Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance starts off running as soon as you turn it on. It begins with an all-out battle between newcomer Mari Makinami, who is piloting the Unit-05, against the Third Angel at a NERV base in the arctic. After that battle, we shift back to Tokyo III and the appearance of the Seventh Angel and Asuka Shikinami in Unit-02. It’s another great battle, showing off Asuka’s personality. The animation is top notch and both fight scenes are a visual treat for the eyes.
Unfortunately, the movie changes momentum after the second battle and we are treated to a lot of dialog and scenes of the cast dealing with their emotional issues. I know this is supposed to show how broken the cast is emotionally, but unlike the TV show there just isn’t enough time in a 2 hour movie to flesh out the complexity and personal anguish of each character properly. The only time I really felt connected to these character was when they were fighting. The battle against the Eighth Angel forced them to work as a team and I felt this did a better job of showing their humanity and fragility.
The last thirty minutes of the movie kick it back into gear and brings back Mari Makinami, who we only see for a few scenes after the first battle. It’s a great way to end the film and once again the animation in the final battles is great. I really enjoyed this film and there are enough changes to the story that anyone who has watched the TV series will still be surprised. I won’t ruin it for you, but the battle with the Ninth Angel is extremly violent and has a shocking ending that most people won’t see coming.
If you are going to watch this, I highly recommend you watch the first movie: Evangelion 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone, otherwise you will fell completely lost. It’s a great movie and I highly recommend it.
Trailer from the Japanese Theatrical Release