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There is a curse with video game movies - the medium of video games does not translate well to film. One day, a film will break that curse.
This is not that film.
The Donphan in the room: The Pokťmon. They came from the deepest, darkest depths of the Uncanny Valley. Pokťmon, after Gen I, have developed more towards "classic cute" designs of bigger heads, larger eyes, and less detail in the joints and legs. While it translates well into stuffed animals, it does not translate well into motion. When placed next to real life humans with internal structure and expressive eyes, you really really see their overinflated heads, vacant facial expressions, perpetually wide eyes, almost painted-on features, stumpy digitless limbs, and rubbery textures.
In the games, they don't look weird, because of their Limited Animation and the fact they are next to equally stylized humans. At best, they look like animated toys. At worst, they looked like eldritch abominations.
Reynolds feels like he Took the Bad Film Seriously and was the only one who had it in him. Almost everyone else felt like they were just there for the check, playing around, or that uninterested in the script.
Too bad the Animation Age Ghetto is still in play - this could have been a very good All-CGI Cartoon.
So.. first review - alright, here goes.
This is a Pokemon movie through and through. This does not mean it's a bad movie, but it does mean you will need to suspend your disbelief a great deal before you can truly enjoy it.
When people start talking about 'souls', 'spirits', and 'magic' and doesn't provide further explanation, this is something you will have to accept, because these things exist in the Pokemon universe and are a fact of life. The Pokemon World is not Like Reality Unless Noted, and if you can't accept that, Detective Pikachu will come off as being bad at explaining things.
In other words, it assumes you're already on board, not just with the iconic Mon's running around, but with the world as a whole.
If you are, or can accept that things that would be mindblowing in our world are introduced with little fanfare? It's a fantastic movie.
If not.. You might have a little worse of a time. Still enormously funny though!
It only took 20 years and Deadpool voicing the electric mouse himself, but itís finally been proven that video game movies can be good.
Firstly, The film feels exactly like a Pokemon game with live action actors. Change Tim for a young Ash and it could be an anime episode with minimal changes thereafter. This gives the film a nostalgic air about them, one that hits home harder and better than any of the recent Star Wars movies. This is helped by an overall lack of bias towards generations which helps sweep up fans across all the years (Iím a B&W man, myself). The amount of references to Pokemon makes this feel like a movie made by fans for fans and not just a cash grab.
The plot is good. It isnít amazing, itís actually pretty cliche, but itís passable. To almost everyone's shock, Ryan Reynolds absolutely slays it as Pikachu, mixing the comedic charm of Deadpool with some heartfelt moments that were rarely seen in those films. Everyone else gives at least good performances, although nothing to write home about.
Overall, Detective Pikachu is a film that literally runs on nostalgia that actually makes itís concept work, and proves that good video game movies are out there.
Now enjoy that feeling before the Sonic movie arrives.
I was a huge fan of the Pokemon anime as a kid, but I lost touch with the franchise about a decade ago. I came into this movie thinking I'd like it solely for the nostalgia factor, but to my surprise, it's a solid mystery adventure film that's funny, suspenseful, and heartfelt in its own right.
First of all, I can't stress enough how gorgeous the special effects are. Every Pokemon looks better than anyone familiar with the anime could've ever imagined, looking realistic but not to the point where they're creepy and unsettling like a certain blue hedgehog whose movie I plan to skip. The colors, the textures, the proportions... everything is exactly what you'd expect a Pokemon in our world to look like.
The acting and characters are top-notch, with Ryan Reynolds giving a phenomenal performance as our favorite electric mouse, with all the comedic wit of Deadpool with pathos to match. Justice Smith, similarly, turns out a stellar performance as a young man trying to connect with a world he thought he'd have to give up long ago as he searches for the truth about his father. The plot is enrapturing and will genuinely keep you guessing and wondering what the twists will be.
My only complaints are that Danny DeVito wasn't able to appear, and that a few of the twists in hindsight seem a bit obvious. Otherwise, a solid film. 8/10
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