Film Review: Detective Pikachu
Home

 

http://www.pokemondungeon.com/images/Background2.jpg

 

The Forums

Our web community.  Join our friendly community of aspiring Pokemon Trainers today.

The Gallery

Artistic Creations of our members. Want your own gallery and front page exposure for your art?

The Library

Our collection of knowledge and imagination. Includes stories, reviews, articles &  information.

The Pokedex

The Pokemon Encyclopedia. Our Pokedex was one of the first on the internet.

 

Film Review: Detective Pikachu

When the theater grew dark, there was an unsaid intensity that everybody was feeling in the room. It was almost audible in the unusually unsettled audience, and to be honest, I felt it, too. It sounds almost stupid really; a dark room full of adults staring at a movie screen like their lives depended on it, but in a way, they did. Or, at least the lives that many had built up in their childhood was about to be represented in a completely different way, and that feeling of uncertainty towards just how it’d turn out, was everywhere.

The findings

So, inevitably, this movie had an entire two decades of anticipation to live up to, whether it wanted to or not. But, that’s where its greatest strength lies; in diverting your expectations. From a Netflix-esque beginning with cliché characters and semi-bad acting, I thought I knew where the entire story would go, but I didn’t. Yes, there are some predictable moments, but for the most part, this is a really fresh take on Pokémon. We aren’t led into a world where battles are very important, nor even collecting Pokémon to fill the Pokédex. That may seem obvious, considering this is about Detective Pikachu, but it really took me off guard to see how much it would try new things. By doing this, the film was able to maneuver itself easier through its own story, and not to have to worry about other things, like whether a certain character was portrayed like in the original games/series. To really highlight this point is the protagonist, Tim, as when we are introduced to him, he practically shuns the idea of Pokémon. Without going into detail, this becomes part of his character arc, which becomes very compelling as well.

The Pokémon featured in the film made the transition from animated drawings to CGI characters really well. The people behind the digitization of the characters did a great job of treading the fine line between realism and comic-like imagery. Charizard, for example, looks great with detailed scales and an edgier overall look, whereas others, like Psyduck, where thoughtfully kept nearly the same to retain their appeal. There are some misfires, but I wouldn’t criticize them too harshly when considering that those Pokémon would actually look like that. Treeko, for example, looks a little disturbing to me when I saw the unnaturally smooth shine of its skin contrast against its huge eyes, but you might think otherwise. Yet, the majority of characters are great, especially the detail thought put into how they move, with a good example being Bulbasaur and Pikachu. Bulbasaur moves a lot like a toddler – with a sense of awkward ease, like it has no idea where its feet are as it bumbles forward with its funnily chunky legs, making it especially cute. Pikachu, on the other hand, moves very human-like, and can change from a small, lovable character to a very fluid-moving one, evidenced by some great motion capture of actor, Ryan Reynolds.

This film is also full with references. It goes without saying that it would have a lot of references, but there are definitely a lot. Some, only the most hardcore, veteran fans will notice in throwaway dialogue or hidden background imagery, but others are center-stage in jokes for fans of all degrees.

Moreover, this film is very self-aware. References or not, it knows who its audience is, and what its product is very well. I say this, as there are attempts to provide necessary details to people who know nothing about Pokémon and are dragged into this by their loved ones (I’m talking to you moms, dads and lost partners). But, they won’t bother fans who have the entire back catalogue of every piece of Pokémon history in their mind, as these details aren’t obtrusive, and there are many other things to be distracted by, like the scenery, which references a lot in every scene.

As for acting and actors, don’t mind my comment about Netflix and semi-professional acting. There are only a few moments that are particularly cringeworthy, but most of them are at the beginning, and if you aren’t too harsh, they can be forgiven. Ryan Reynolds really surprised me with his performance as Pikachu, as the high-pitched sounds Pikachu usually makes are so engraved into my mind. He is great, and even sneaks in a few lines that are more for the adults in the room. The other actors in this film are good, too, and I’d say their acting is generally good, but only hampered by a few cliché characters.

The Hard Evidence

Sometimes, however, this film tries too hard. There are a lot of emotional scenes, and some that were just a little too forced and avoidable. They left a sour taste in my mouth, as I’ve seen this type of thing a million times before. They also felt a little dark, which may be a turn away for children. It’s not that the film is inappropriate for children, but it has its teenage-filled angst moments and so on.

The musical score can also be a downfall. It’s great that they have an original score that mixes with the series’/games’ scores, but it doesn’t always blend very well. When they are separated, and you hear them at different times, it’s great, but when the film makers decide to push that mixer track to the max like a high school kid with their first DJ kit, and you hear orchestral music clashing with modernized video game soundtracks, it can be horribly misguided. The orchestral music in general felt flat and uneventful, but despite its glaring flaws, it’s notably a better choice than just slapping video game music over everything.

At times the plot wasn’t really connecting. Whether it was strange progression, or mistimed moments, the flow of the film was a little disrupted by pacing issues. Some things were rushed, and needed a bucket load of flashbacks, which could become annoying, whereas others dragged out far too much.

Choosing to create mostly original characters was a wise decision, but not in every regard. Some are vacant and hollow characters that almost spell out “Hey, I’m an archetype of (*insert generic character here*) and for the rest of this film I will do things that archetype does”. But, again, this isn’t the majority of characters.

Case Closed

It can be really difficult to make a live action film based on an incredibly popular franchise, and moviegoers have seen an ungodly amount of failures over the years, like Dragonball Evolution, which crippled Dragonball fans. Thankfully, the same thing did not happen here, and the filmmakers knew what they were doing. You won’t be in for a five-star-wow-this-changed-my-life type of film, but that’s a good thing. Overall, it is an enjoyable watch for audiences of any kind. Hardcore fans will be pleased to see their beloved characters faithfully put on the big screen, casual fans will be able to enjoy it the same, and those who know nothing will be taken on a ride that even gears towards them. It’s a strange experience, and even foreign to many, but its diversion of expectations lets it roam freely, find new regions to explore, and win us over in a different way.

 

Popular Features

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon page
Our Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon page
Featured Artist of the Month December 17
Artist of the Month: bluekomadori
Retro Corner
Pokemon Retro Magazine Corner!

 

 

 

 

Latest News

What makes Pokemon appeal to all ages?

pokemon 1581771 960 720


Would you believe that it is now over 20 years since we were introduced to Pokemon? What started as a run of mill anime soon turned into a cult classic. It wasn’t just the show or the films that made an impression. We were swamped with merchandise and games too. While Pokemon may have found itself a new audience, the truth is that those original fans are still loyal and still clinging on.

Pokemon, I suppose, is a little like Bitcoin. Once you have experienced all that it has to offer you are always looking for more. The thrill of playing the smartphone Pokemon game where we all hunt Pokemon around the streets offers the same rush as playing with Bitcoin at Bitcasino.io

 

Read More

eSPORTS AND BETTING

For most people, betting offers an easy and cool way to make cash outside of their normal salaries or wages. The act of betting itself is a simple endeavour that involves wagering on the possible odds for the outcomes of an event and hoping the odds go in your favour. In recent times, the practice of betting has grown especially with factors like rising inflation levels, high unemployment rate and simply the thrill involved in being able to predict the possible outcome of an event among a host of other factors. The practice, which has evolved over time now involve funding your wallets or accounts from the comfort of your room, and with your mobile devices and simply wagering on the best odds for eSport, on whichever team you desire. Betting has also grown in time to accommodate not only physical games like horse racings, tennis, football, basketball and other sports, but has also extended to include virtual betting which is more less a simulated version of these above-mentioned types. For whatever reason you choose to wager your money, its also an experience that comes with a number of thrills that punters enjoy.

 

Read More

Main Online Gaming Features You Should Know

When it comes to exploring some of the most innovative elements that are currently taking over the world, it is rather inevitable to continue down the path without ever mentioning the aspect of gaming. With all of the recent technological updates and developments, there has been a huge rise in the overall innovative segments that are introduced in the entertainment world, and yes, one of the most popular segments is defiantly the world of online gaming. Having all of this in mind, there has been a rather impressive digitalization movement of some of the classic and well-established games, as well as various movies, cartoons, music, and so much more. One of the most interesting representations is the anime world, especially when it comes to dealing with the most popular segment, Pokémon.

 

Read More

Pokémon Incredible News for 2021: Celebrating 25th Anniversary

What direction is the Pokémon series likely to take as it commemorates the 25th anniversary marked on the 27th of February 2021? Will there be new games or even remakes?

While answers to this question remain uncertain and vague to the Pokémon fans, we still anticipate some good news from Nintendo. It was on 27th February 1996, when the first games were released in this franchise in Japan, hence, marking the 25th year of existence this year.If you can recall, during the Pokémon 20th anniversary a lot happened. The Pokken and Pokémon Go were released, and there were also many crossover events in games that took place to mark that season such as Splatoon and Super Mario Maker.

However, it is still not that clear what Nintendo has in store for the Pokémon fans as they celebrate 25 years of enjoying this trading card game of its type. But, at least we have a few things that were announced to happen this year, which we will mention in this article. These promises from Pokémon Company will be clearer as the year elapses. But we are hopeful that there will be more interesting releases soonest from Nintendo. Now, Pokémon is among the top 3 trading card games that have gained a lot of International popularity over time. This makes it one of the best TCG in the market today. Did you know that as of March 2020 over 30.4 billion Pokemon cards have been sold? Yes, they did, and this isn’t a negligible achievement, Right?

 

Read More

Will Pokemon Ever Make It Into The eSports Betting World?

This year makes the 25th anniversary of Pokemon (although the original Red and Blue games did not come to North America until September 1998). Throughout the last quarter-century, Pokemon has evolved from a brand new IP for Nintendo to becoming one of the most successful video game franchises of all-time. Even with all the success, the mainstream Pokemon games have yet to make a significant footprint in the eSports and betting world.

 

Read More

Pokémon Slot Machines

Slot machines have been around for more than a century. They were invented by a Bavarian ex-pat in the late 19th century, they were briefly used as vending machines in the bars of North America, paying out food instead of coins, then quickly became the staple of the gambling industry. Since then, they have spread everywhere, from social networks to video games.

Slot machines are very popular all over the world - but not in Japan. Access to gambling in all forms except for betting on public sports, lotteries, and pachinko. There are no casinos in the country - people often play Mahjong for money, and there are a few popular rock-paper-scissors apps that many people play for money. Thus, it may come as a surprise that the games featured slot machine minigames up to Generation IV.

 

Read More

How was Pokemon Go received in India?

Pokemon Go Image

Pokemon Go is one of the most famous AI (Augmented reality) games of our time. Released in 2016, it quickly became a rage within a community of Pokemon fans that are young kids. This rage spread across the world and one could see kids with phones running around the neighborhood pointing the phones at places trying to capture characters and objects in augmented reality.

In fact, many people thought this sort of excitement within the kids was similar to the kind that casino players would experience on hitting jackpot or getting free spin offers. This excitement also spread to countries like India where even though it took a while to arrive, the fandom spent no time to make it popular. It only took six months extra for the game to arrive but anxious gamers had already started finding ways to download the game from American sites so much so that the publishers had to find a way to block these Indian downloads. The other issue with downloading from random sites was that these gamers would not be eligible for all the updates that the publisher kept giving out.  It was only in December 2016 that the game was presented to the Indian market. So how did the game do in India? 

 

Read More

Pokémon’s Quest at the Behest of Wizards of the Coast

Have you ever wondered why Nintendo didn’t continue its partnership with Wizards of the Coast? It seems like a question that we’ve all asked, even indirectly. Yet, though we’ve all asked this question, it’s also more than likely that we haven’t thought about it for too long, nor really cared that much, either. It just seems to be a fact of life that we all mutually accept as something that happened, and is now forgotten.

 

Read More