I must admit when I first saw the teaser and trailers for Detective Pikachu, awful was the first thing that came to my mind and I believe many others did not like the look of the movie when they first saw it too.
Everyone was complaining about the look of the Pokémon rather than thinking will this be any good, but let’s be honest, many video game adaptations never meets anyone’s expectations.
After seeing the trailers I was unsure if I would go and see it in the cinema, but as it was released here in Japan first and I hardly go and see any movies I thought why not. Before going any further I would like to say I consider myself a big fan of the franchise and have been there since it all began.
Going in to the cinema with no high expectations and hoping I would have some enjoyment I was anxious. Fun fact only 3 of us was in the cinema watching the English dub.
Not knowing much about the director; Rob Letterman past work. Only knowing the voice of Pikachu; Ryan Reynolds, but I was surprised on another actor who would be in this but I’ll keep that a secret.
First things first that this world we see is amazing and it really felt alive with both humans and Pokémon living together. From the fields, forest and even the main city where most of the movie takes place, Rhyme City.
It’s really hard to make a fictional city believable.
What impressed me the most was the way we see everything. Cinematographer John Mathieson did an amazing work. Made everything in the city believable and the other scenes which turned to a darker tone. I was also impressed on how everything was lit. The lighting in the city during the night time was shot beautifully.
Coming to the music with its synths and maybe a tribute to the older, grittier movies back in the 80’s, the soundtrack was easy on the ears and the slow, tense, shocking scenes worked well with what Henry Jackman composed. Check out his long list of creations that he has done even video game soundtracks.
I’m not going to go in detail with the CGI of the Pokémon because modern movies do go over the top with it and it seems the more we go forward with CGI it can look non realistic. I believe movies should use less CGI it but for this movie it needed it. Of course there is no such thing as Pokémon only in Anime and video games. I would say it looked ok, nothing ground breaking but I don’t believe it was a new leap with CGI but not at one moment I thought that Pokémon looks rubbish.
How about the story itself? Well for one I have not finished the game that this is loosely based off. Without spoiling as much as you seen from the trailers our main character Tim (Justice Smith) encounters on a talking Pikachu who he claims he is world class detective, and that he knows Tim’s father as he was his partner which Tim had the sad news that his father was dead even though they did not his body.
The quest is on to find Tim’s father also why Pikachu has amnesia.
Detective Pikachu is more or less a movie which two of them find clues and search for the truth but obviously not hard to follow, one step at a time. There is another plot going on which ties together which I won’t spoil here.
Did this movie disappoint me? No I did not. Was it fantastic? No, but it’s one of the best video game adaptations to movie, most defiantly. Who is this movie aimed for? Everyone, true you will have a better time if you know the franchise and know “who’s that Pokémon?” and all the easter eggs hidden in this movie but it’s fine if you only grew up only knowing the first generation. The first 151 Pokémon. But I believe anyone will enjoy it and that’s because of Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu.
I would recommend anyone, even families to check it out but highly recommend if you are a fan. Just go in empty minded, don’t have high expectations and I’m sure you will enjoy something from watching this funny, heart warming, action movie.
By the way… I bought the パンフレット (movie pamphlet) didn’t know that a Pokemon TCG promo was included. Is this card even released in English?