After being majorly let down by Digimon Tri, the Adventure series seems to have been given one last chance (maybe? And a new remake/spinoff in April?) to go out with a bang. Though it seems like the Adventure series has and will be milked like a Dairymon (there is surprisingly no cow Digimon to make this joke work) for the time being, this film does actually live up to its title and thankfully concludes with some level finality.
The film strikes a nice balance between telling a new story to wrap things up while also calling back to classic
moments in the series and fanservice without going overboard. The opening scene is a great example of this while also showcasing the best animation of the film. This opening scene was very exciting but unfortunately raises expectations on the visual front a bit higher than the rest of the film is able to manage. After the scene concludes, we're quickly shown some generic cgi crowd and pedestrian shots and reminded to keep our expectations in check. Overall the films visuals are an upgrade from Tri, though in all honesty that isn't really saying much. The character art and animation is solid and the designs are definitely an upgrade from what has recently been put out. Unfortunately the main villian Digimon is animated fully in CG and some of the later action, showcased after an extended period of plot and talking suffers from heavy CG use not present earlier in the film.
On the character front, it's great seeing all our favourites grown up and (mostly) achieving their future aspirations. This is also a major theme of the film, and coupled with a plot that directly draws on and even uses the classic child character designs really brings the story full circle and amps up the nostalgia factor. Additionally, seeing these characters we grew up with drinking alcohol and having their porn stashes found by their digimon (yep) really drives home how many years have passed since seeing these characters for the first time. This nostalgia is likely what most fans are looking for in a film like this, and on this level I feel the film succeeds, and to a much greater degree than Tri.
The plot at times felt reminiscent of the first Digimon film to me, with some of the staging of scenes being direct callbacks to the film. The themes of the film focus on loss and acceptance and the power to move on mirrored in both the films antagonist and Taichi and Matt. The film manages to be quite serious at times, the some fairly serious real world stakes both small and grand scale. It's able to evoke a few really emotional moments and like I hinted at the beginning of the review as well, the film does actually have the guts to live up to its title in some respects and for that I commend it.
Overall Digimon:Last Evolution is a nice send-off to the series that should certainly satisfy fans in a way Tri didn't even come close or TRY too (sorry). At this point, I feel like that's the best Digimon fans could have asked for.