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Awesome VG Adaptations: Detective Pikachu Movie

On 11/20/2021 at 09:54 AM by The Last Ninja

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When it comes to live action video game movies, they’re notorious for being awful. Some might be okay, while others are just dumb fun, but there aren’t any that are truly great. I think that’s not true anymore, though, because the Detective Pikachu movie is great! I understand that this might be a bit controversial, as some regard this movie as just okay. Well then, let me try to show you why I believe this movie is great. It’s not a perfect movie by any means, but it succeeds more than it fails, and I think it deserves more credit than it often gets. 

pic 1

First, this movie is great because Detective Pikachu is a great character. The story goes that Pikachu has lost his memory; and then Tim has lost his dad. The two team up to try and find Tim’s dad. It’s a basic premise (buddy cop), but Pikachu is the character that you’ll become most invested in. As the movie goes on, we learn new things about Pikachu, how he’s connected to Mewtwo as well as Tim’s dad, which leads to the big reveal at the end. I think it’s great that Pikachu can’t remember how to use his lightning powers, which leads to a great scene when he fights Charizard. It helps that Pikachu is voiced by Ryan Reynolds, who does a great job as usual. Pikachu is easily the star of the movie. He can be so funny, but there are also moments that are more touching and heartfelt. 

Second, this movie is great because it successfully translates pokemon into the real world. This is the first time we’ve seen pokemon put into the real world in a realistic fashion. And they look great! While some pokemon look a little too creepy (such as Jigglypuff and Mr. Mime), the vast majority of them look perfect. I love how badass Charizard looks, and it can be disturbing how creepy Gengar looks, but that’s the way he should be in real life. Throughout the movie, we get to see pokemon in their natural habitat as well as working with humans in Ryme City. This world feels lived in—it looks like a real world, not just a movie set. So many different pokemon are seen throughout the movie that any Pokemon fan should be satisfied, and will probably see some of their favorites. 

pic 2

Third, this movie is great because the story is compelling. The story is based on the 3DS game (which I haven’t played, so I can’t tell you how faithful it is to adapting the story from the game). It’s a good story because it has several mysteries (what happened to Tim’s dad? what’s Pikachu’s backstory? why did Mewtwo break out of the lab and what’s he after? what’s going on with Howard Clifford and his business?) but also doesn’t get too complicated. Most of these mysteries are revealed as the movie progresses. Certain things will be obvious (for adults, at least) while others are more of a surprise. Mewtwo’s role in the movie is vitally important, and he looks amazing here! There are also certain movie tropes here that have been done a million times, such as Pikachu and Tim “breaking up” and then coming back together later. It’s cliche, I know, but it still has an emotional impact when the two come back together with a stronger friendship. While the villain is a bit weak, Mewtwo makes up for it by being so versatile throughout the movie (and he’s just awesome). 

It’s true that this movie has some shortcomings. While Detective Pikachu is great, the human characters are lacking. Tim and Lucy are fun characters, but they have no depth. Justice Smith does a good job of being expressive throughout the movie, while Kathryn Newton often comes off as a mostly wooden character. Also, while the story is great, there are a few too many plot twists near the end for my liking. One plot twist is fine—three is a bit too much. The eventual reveal of the villain was obvious, but younger kids probably will be surprised. To be honest, Mewtwo is so awesome in this movie that I think he saves the third act (for me, at least). 

pic 3

I think that kids and adults alike can enjoy this movie. The representation of several different generations of pokemon means that even if you grew up on the first generation, you can still have a good time. If you’re completely new to Pokemon, you can still enjoy this movie. And kids will enjoy the movie because it has some silly moments (maybe a few too many) and they will enjoy seeing all the different pokemon in the real world. For being the very first live action Pokemon movie, Detective Pikachu is quite impressive. If you don’t think so, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Purchase the Detective Pikachu movie here




11/20/2021 at 08:55 PM

There's a Pokemon clone game on Xbox right now. I'm going to try it sometime. 

The Last Ninja

11/21/2021 at 01:12 AM

Hm...what's it called?


11/21/2021 at 08:50 PM

I think it was Cassette Beasts

The Last Ninja

11/22/2021 at 10:07 AM

I haven't seen this game! Looks neat, definitely a Pokemon-like. 

Cary Woodham

11/21/2021 at 08:27 AM

Detective Pikachu is a great movie.  The 3DS game it's based on is great, too.

The Last Ninja

11/22/2021 at 10:08 AM

Since you've played the game, how closely does the story in the movie follow the game's story? 

Cary Woodham

11/24/2021 at 08:16 AM

It actually follows the same plot almost exactly.  You visit a few more locations in the game that wouldn't fit as well with a action packed movie.  But I knew what was going to happen in the movie the whole way through because I had already played the game.  The game is pretty much Phoenix Wright for kids.

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