I saw detective Pikachu today and it was pretty great!
Pokemon is a series that I’ve grown up with for such a long time and it might just be one of my favourite game series’ – until before the 3D model change, which was still ok, just not as good. So honestly a lot of the appeal for me was going “oh I know that one” but even if you didn’t know them I honestly think you’d have a good time still.
The show comes across as a mystery, but honestly I think you’d be disappointed if you treated it that way. Yes the whole thing is for the purpose of understanding what the hell happened to the main character’s dad but you’re always finding out new information and it never feels like you have to work anything out.
Due to that it’s just an enjoyable time. Yes there are also a lot of twists and turns, a lot of which I didn’t necessarily see coming, but it didn’t really matter in the end due to the lack of seriousness in the film.
I found myself laughing a lot at the film and most of the jokes I was able to laugh at – though that could have been because the people I saw it with were laughing a lot and I was just brought in to that atmosphere. Regardless, it did have genuine wit and looking back on it now some of those jokes were just such good ideas.
One thing I didn’t expect was to become so interested in the world of the show. The world of Pokemon is of course quite similar, but when it’s brought into real life you can’t help but love it, and find yourself wanting to be there.
Some people really dislike the Pokemon designs and I honestly don’t get it. Making the Pokemon into fluffy animated dolls is an aesthetic choice that I really like the look of. It’s much better than the horribly detailed and realistic aesthetic they could have gone for or the unbelievable cg models from the games. They strike a nice balance that I really like.
It doesn’t work well for all of the Pokemon and some of them could have been done differently but overall it was a really cute aesthetic!
I found myself really liking the main character too. Him being a guy who worked at an insurance company not only made the world feel more real but it also made me root for him and want to see him succeed. His past with his dad was also interesting and quite sad in a way. I’m not going to pretend he was massively deep and in depth but he was really likeable and a guy you wanted to root for, which is probably what the film makers wanted anyway.
Then the Pikachu was just funny. I liked his sense of humour and it was interesting to see the two characters interact throughout the film.
The entire thing had so many references to things in Pokemon that it was great, but one thing I’m questioning is why wasn’t the company called Silph Co. It made no sense to create “Clifford Industries” if they were going to go as far as including much of the first case from the detective Pikachu game. Or maybe there is a good reason for it, I don’t know.
The whole thing with mewtwo and the experimentation lab was really cool to me, and was quite similar to the first ever Pokemon film. Mewtwo was made in an experiment so it’s good that they kept that faithful and interesting what ended up happening to him in the end.
Spoilers incoming from now on!
One thing that I appreciated at the experimentation lab was the thing with the massively growing Torterra’s. They were as big as a forest! The fact that they could have grown so huge was obviously very immersion breaking and unrealistic, but weirdly I don’t care.
Sometimes you’ve got to do something just because it’s cool to do, and the Torterra’s scene was great, and it ended with that massive cliff jump – obviously being a reference to the Pokemon anime where Ash can jump insanely far and be fine. I think it was a good choice.
Then the only thing that I see really annoying some people is the way that the car crash footage was handled. It was faked to show like 10 different things and could have felt annoying to some people!
I wouldn’t say that I liked it, but it didn’t bother me. It was interesting that so many different ideas from that footage could be needed and used at different times of the film.
So to recap, they had one at the start to show that they died, one later to show that they didn’t die and Pikachu’s memory’s were taken, then another for the greninja and then another to show what really happened. There were a lot of different perspectives that implied different things.
The leader of Clifford Industries transporting his mind into mewtwo was also an interesting way to end the film. It was foreshadowed that he would try and make humans evolve, but I didn’t realise that that’s what he meant. It was a really weird idea of what he planned to do because ultimately it’s really really dumb, but that fact is very easy to ignore/not care about.
I’ve also not mentioned the journalist and her partner which is a psyduck. I don’t have a lot to say about them really except that they were pretty cool characters!
In all seriousness the world of Detective Pikachu is really cool and interesting, and I sincerely hope to see another Pokemon film set in the real world with this kind of thing.
They have already taken the idea of mewtwo and Pokemon experimentation pretty far, so I don’t see them expanding on that again. What might be pretty cool would be to see one about team rocket where the main character got caught up in one of their schemes and has to spend the whole film trying to sort it out.
It’s just an idea, I’m sure someone whose paid to do this kind of thing would be able to come up with something better.
Overall it was a really cool and nice light-hearted film that you shouldn’t take too seriously. Definitely recommended.