Let me start by saying that I am a HUGE Pokémon fan — the anime was a huge part of my childhood and will forever remain in my heart as one my earliest favorite series. I watched the series obsessively, and always dreamed that they would one day do a live-action adaptation. What I didn’t expect was that the adaption would be a standalone story with a film noir mystery and a talking Pikachu voiced by Ryan Reynolds. I’m not complaining about any of that.
In fact, it might just be the smartest way to do a Pokémon adaptation. In reality, Detective Pikachu is not an adaptation of the original game or the anime, but the 2016 3DS game by the same name (which you can read the TGON review of here), in which the player works with a talking Pikachu to solve a mystery, though not the same mystery that the film takes on. Penning an entirely new story was undoubtably the smart move, because the pressure to get Ash & the gang right would have off the charts.
This idea for this film was undoubtably riding the coattails of the massively popular mobile game Pokémon Go, which launched in 2016 (and will likely see a revamp following Detective Pikachu).
The film is directed by Rob Letterman, whose other films include the recent Goosebumps adaptation, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Gulliver’s Travels, and Shark Tale. So it’s clear that Letterman has an affinity for the wild, outrageous ideas, making him a good choice for this movie.
Admittedly, I was a little thrown off by Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu, but the longer it goes on the funnier it gets, and it’s an interesting nod to the fact that the Pikachu we know and love really is just a singular Pikachu with his own personality, and in the great big world of Pokémon there are more than just the one.
From the looks of it, Detective Pikachu will only feature first generation Pokémon, meaning it will take place in the Kanto Region. Does this mean that the film will open itself up for sequels in other regions? If I had to guess, I would say absolutely.
I think that everyone who saw the trailer had a moment of doubt, but it quickly turned to intrigue, and then hopefulness that we will finally see one of our favorite franchises on the big screen. Initially, the idea was to go into the movie with very low expectations, thinking of it in terms of a fun play on the world that might be interesting, but as reviews started to roll in, it became clear that this film was not to be missed.
I’m now more excited about this movie than ever, and hoping that it can live up to my expectations for the long awaited Pokémon adaptation.
Tell Us: Are you excited for Detective Pikachu? Do you expect it will be really good, or just silly fun?