So yesterday the trailer for Detective Pikachu came out, and boy oh boy was the internet in flames about this. I saw people who disliked the imagery of the “real life” Pokemon, I saw people who said that they liked the imagery. Some people said that this movie will be trash, others say the movie is nightmare fuel, some have high hopes, others are cautiously optimistic. Now for me, this movie looks amazing. Check the trailer below.
Now you might be asking why I have high hopes in a movie I legitimately forgot was coming out at all or a movie that’s essentially a Hollywood video game adaptation film or a movie where Ryan Reynolds is the voice instead of Danny Devito, but there’s just a genuine charm to this movie that some don’t. It’s just…there’s so much going on in this two minute trailer.
Before I even get to the characters, it’s the world. Though some people found the Pokemon in real life off-putting, I thought that realistically this would be how Pokemon look in our world. And there’s a tenderness to how the world is designed. Every small detail feels like a small love letter to the Pokemon franchise.
As for the characters, there’s Tim Goodman, played by Justice Smith, which good for him, finding things to do after The Get Down was cancelled. But in this trailer we got to see so much of his character. He, like most of us when we were younger, dreamed of being a Pokemon trainer, maybe even a master. And he, like many of us if we were in a world with Pokemon, kind of failed. He has a life unsatisfied as some type of office cubicle worker, maybe a telecommunicator?, and that can relate to a lot of young twenty somethings who might be watching this movie. It’s also just kind of a different aspect to take with a movie like this, in a world like this. We get to see how the regular people in a Pokemon world live. How are their lives enhanced by Pokemon…or made more difficult by it? But Tim’s also a true reluctant hero, I realize that in most video games, we get reluctant heroes, but in most video games they’re at least slightly trained for the task at hand before the situation blows up into something bigger. We have a failed Pokemon trainer, who probably hasn’t used Pokemon in years, who has to figure out something in a field way out of his depth. Seeing and capturing that struggle, how it’s conveyed on screen, will be something fun to see.
As for Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, we all know how I feel about Ryan Reynolds. I love him, but when it comes to writers and trying to utilize him humorously, they kind of just throw a bunch of jokes at a wall and whatever makes the audience laugh is a success despite the efficiency, but I feel as though the humor works in this film. I mean, we’ve only seen two minutes of this film, but it seems hilarious and not in a just showing the few funny moments of the film type of way. I mean, the Mr. Mime interrogation scene was amazing. Pikachu’s interpretation of Mr. Mime’s miming, My problem is that I push people away and hate them for leaving, felt so personal, so my humor, that I knew that this would be a movie I’d watch. Which leads to my last point.
While Pokemon is a series aimed at children, let’s look at Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee as an example, this movie doesn’t quite feel that way. While most children aimed movies are specifically for children, written with a few jokes that’ll go over their heads for the sake of unfortunate parents tasked with taking them, this movie outright shows very adult, self-deprecating humor (so much to the point that I really thought Pikachu was gonna say, fuck, at some point). Yet it also shows the fun, the beauty of a Pokemon world, I mean look at those little frog cabbages (aka Bulbasaur) walk through that forest and try to tell me that world isn’t beautiful. It’s a nice mesh, a nice balance, to say that the movie can be for everyone, but is aimed at people who grew up with Pokemon. Also…it’s not only gen 1 Pokemon and woo-wee am I glad this movie isn’t pandering to, like, 30 year old genwunners.
I’m legitimately excited for this movie, and in a world where I assumed I’d have no reason to live after completing Kingdom Hearts III twice, it looks like there’s still reason to go on. Anyways, I’m leaving you with a tweet about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, because just in case you didn’t know, the song used in the Detective Pikachu trailer, Happy Together by the Turtles, was used in the ad for Smash Bros. 64. So there ya go. Later days.