Movie Review: Detective Pikachu
By: Agent Bunnie & Agent Afronaut
We here at Afronauts are big fans of the mobile app: Pokemon Go. Honestly, we really weren't that into Pokemon until the app came out, but we have enjoyed it since the initial release and that has introduced us to the world of pocket monsters! Since playing the game we have really gotten to know the 'Mons and it was necessary to be successful in the game.
So, of course, upon hearing about the movie, "Detective Pikachu", we were definitely excited and anticipating the movie! We had a few doubts to be honest:
-How would it turnout with Ryan Reynold's voicing Pikachu?
-Would it be a cheesy rendition of the original animated movies?
-Which Pokemon would be involved? Typical and popular ones, or unique ones?
-How would they portray the Pokemon in our reality?
WARNING! READING ANY FURTHER WILL HAVE SPOILERS! DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SPOILERS! - WE DO RECOMMEND SEEING THE FILM!
Official synopsis released by Warner Brothers:
The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry's former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City - a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world - they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.
The movie eased a lot of our questions in a good way, but lacked in the creative side and thus made it really hard to have a movie we could believe in and get behind completely. Ryan Reynold's as Pikachu was good. Probably not his best role, but he did a great job at making us laugh and keeping up with the humor that was inserted throughout the movie. Was the humor cheesy and at times a bit predictable? -yes, but it was still cute and nothing profane. This was definitely a family-friendly movie. The audience was treated to a variety of Pokemon, including ones that aren't often featured such as Ludicolo, Snubbull, Licktung, and Psyduck. Psyduck really had a big role in the movie! In fact, Psyduck is responsible for much of the movie's jokes and even saves the day at one point! The movie also quickly answered how Pokemon and people came to live together in Ryme City; thanks to Howard Clifford who was able to create a place where both humans and Pokemon could co-exist. The movie does move swiftly from beginning to end, which was nice. Nothing felt rushed, but we get the point and to the end without having to suffer from over-explanations and empty scenes,
The aspect that we were concerned about - Would it be a cheesy rendition of the original animated movies? - can be answered with a: No, it was not. However! It wasn't completely without holes either. It was nice that the movie played off of the first ever animated movie to be in theaters, also known as "Pokemon The First Movie". We see that they have recaptured Mewtwo and it was Tim's dad Harry who was trying to help Mewtwo. Yet the movie lacked in a good ending to our big showdown and concluded rather cheaply. Our biggest issue with the movie was trying to really get behind it as a story. As Agent Afronaut says, "sometimes you just gotta hit the I Believe button", but even this movie has our buttons stumped. There are plenty of diehard Pokemon fans who have already written articles bashing the movie with lists of "why [insert situation] can't happen", and while we may not be professional Pokemon experts, we still were left baffled by a few things. Like, how did Lucy, Tim, and their Pokemon survive the Torterra forest? Not only was it phsyically impossible, but somehow Pikachu was the only one who truly was hurt from the shifting land and these 2 city folks did not seemed equipped or trained to be able to survive any of that. As mentioned before, there were some other holes in the story too, like how conveniently Mewtwo was able to just fix the whole city and separate the humans from their Pokemon, yet the R that was made from his own DNA actually did effect him, so how did that exactly work? Just try to hit your believe button, I guess.
With all that said, we still think you should see the movie! Why? Well, besides it being a family movie, which are far and few between these days, the movie also delivers in an unexpected way!
If you're looking for a good time, whether you're a Pokemon fan or not, you'll enjoy this movie and we think you should see it! It's a good movie and rises above the normal genre of youth movies. Just have your Believe Buttons ready, and if it gets stuck or you find it hard to press in a couple of scenes, we understand, but it's nothing you can't move on from.
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Afronauts is a collective dedicated to bringing exposure to and understanding of Indigenous Futurism in all its forms.