Movies based on video games have had a bit of bad reputation, to say the least. Either the wonderfully dated Mortal combator the infamous confused and confused Super Mario Bros., the line "is good for a video game" is one we hear very often. Now this Detective Pokémon Pikachu was released into the world, can we finally see a proper break with the trend with which we all become so familiar? If this is a question for which you would like to know the answer, you have come to the right kind of article, bubbo.
Despite being the titular character – and that plastered throughout the promotional gubbins – Detective Pikachu (played by Ryan Reynolds) plays second violin for the real actor Tim Goodman, played by Justice Smith. Tim called to tell him that his father had been involved in a rather hairy accident, and he was walking to the point that everyone is assuming that he is yearning for the fjords. Tim is in the same boat to believe too, but all this changes when he comes across a Pikachu in his father's apartment, which happens to be the Pikachu we mentioned a short time ago and that is all about the promotional art. With the two convinced that Tim's father is still out there somewhere, our two companions are out to refute his death certificate.
As for lots, it is not exactly Schindler's List, but it is different enough from the experienced and true world-end-death-laser-of-the-sky-and-help-not-specific-superhero to keep our attention. Smith does an excellent job of portraying Tim, keeping his character broad enough to be relatable, but not so broad to become at that type of character that will do the job or die trying. It feels like a real person, that in a world inhabited by Pokémon keeps the movie just grounded enough to be on the right side of the believable.
Reynold's delivery is perfect everywhere, even if from time to time the jokes and the gossip become a bit tiresome
As for Pikachu, he certainly manages to keep the spotlight on him whenever he wants. Reynold's delivery is perfect everywhere, even if from time to time the jokes and gossip become a bit tiresome. Fortunately most of the time these small apartes Does reached its mark, but to say that each one is an absolute zinger would be a bit misleading. The rest of the cast is fun as well, if a bit forgettable. The exception to this rule is Bill Nighy's performance as Howard Clifford, the mind behind Rime City's Pokémon-centric society. We do not want to say much about his performance, so we do not put our feet in a big pile of spoilers, but suffice it to say that he and his character are both fun and effective, maybe a little underused.
The first act is undoubtedly the strongest, concentrating mainly on the evolving relationship between Pikachu and Tim, and the detective angle of the story gives this entire part of the film an almost police vibe, which is not bad at all. Acts two and three are unfortunately not as strong, with act two looking a bit like an athon display, but with enough interaction and pleasure to keep it afloat – although, to be true, the rhythm begins to slip by. this point. The third act is stronger, but the stakes are raised to a disappointingly predictable level, which lessens the small, intimate amusement between the two main characters.
All right, we hold the Pokémon long enough, let's talk about Rime City, its Pokémon and the movie presentation. The whole thing is an absolute feast for the eyes, and fans of the original material will not find an end to merry references, subtle nods and other bits and bobs focused on fans. If this sounds like something that can alienate non-fans or maybe those who have missed the series a bit, do not worry, since the vast majority of them are not required to understand what is happening on the screen, and are often just happening the background or establish shots.
Fans of the source material will not find an end to merry references, subtle nods and other bits and spirals focused on fans
At first it seemed a waste of the monsters' potential, but enough displays of the unique traits of each monster are shown without it looking like a cheeky fan service. It was actually a bit emotional for me personally to see so much of a series that undoubtedly raised me in a small part so well performed in this way.
The use of color is effective, perhaps a bit weak. Saturation is blown into several scenes, but only to environmental objects, not to the characters or the countless Joltiks that foul the transmission lines. It's a good way to introduce the kind of unreal color you'd expect from a game, but without putting it on the things you believe are alive with organs and things inside them. Each act has its own palette, which further helps to distinguish them from each other, and reflects the arc of the story, even if the arc is not something extra special. Rime City itself is a vertical metropolis, which definitely looks like the London we saw in the movie, but has enough of its own DNA to make it look exactly unique. The few shots we see of the imposing monoliths that they probably call buildings are not as numerous as we might like, but having said one shot after another of tall buildings is not what the movie is about.
Importantly, respect for the source material is second to none. It's all too easy for big movie companies to want to water or sterilize the art of production based on some crazy reason, but it's obvious that someone in this process put their foot down and ensured that it remained as true to their roots as possible. Psyduck, in fact, saying "Psyduck" in an annoying voice can get us off the wrong track after a while, but it's at least accurate.
Detective Pikachu may well be the first properly good video game that the industry has already produced
This is not to say that the film does not have its drawbacks, some of which we mentioned earlier. Some of the characters feel undeveloped, the rhythm creeps a bit in the second act and the rockets advance in the third, and while an overwhelming majority of the CGI is perfectly executed, there have been some cases where it stood out as is not really there. This was nothing but minor things, like the illumination of the models, but it was perceptible enough to break our suspension of disbelief once or twice. Luckily the rest of the movie was strong enough to bring us back, so no harm was done, huh?
We'll say that, Detective Pikachu may well be the first properly good video game movie that the industry has already produced. It's not a perfect beast, and while there's certainly more to fans of the games, there's still a good movie left for those who can not take advantage of it. A few stumbles here and there for sure, but this little bug is still more than ready to face the Elite Four.