Over my many years as a Pokemon fan, I’ve thought to myself on more than one occasion “They can’t possibly do anything weirder than this” but I have always been proven wrong. The most recent confusing move the Pokemon Company has made was announcing a Detective Pikachu movie based on the 2016 Nintendo 3ds Game and starring Ryan Renolds as the titular yellow mouse. I was skeptical of this movie from the start, mainly because I had no idea how Pokemon would look in live action, but I decided that I would reserve my judgment until we got a trailer. The first trailer for Detective Pikachu was released today and it was not at all what I was expecting, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The first thing I have to address is the Pokemon. My initial reaction to them was disgust mixed with some horror, but after I watched the trailer a few times I realized that they look as good as live action Pokemon were ever going to look. Pikachu, in particular, looks pretty cute and they were able to capture Pokemon like Charizard, Greninja, and Psyduck really well. Some Pokemon, however, do not transfer to live action very well. Mr. Mime looks terrifying here but he’s always looked terrifying, so it didn’t bother me too much. This will absolutely take some getting used to, but overall they all look and feel like Pokemon and it could be a lot worse.
The atmosphere of the film looks great as well. The overall aesthetic feels authentic and like it a belongs in the Pokemon universe. You can already tell how much passion and care was given to this film just by looking at the background. There are so many easter eggs and references that will be sure to get fans excited including posters on the wall referencing legendary Pokemon and the Sinnoh Region championship as well various signs on the buildings referencing something in the Pokemon universe. They didn’t need to put any of this in but they did anyway and I really appreciate that. I can’t wait to see their interpretation of Pokemon centers, Pokeballs and most importantly Pokemon battles.
I won’t lie and say that hearing Ryan Renoylds voice coming out of Pikachu’s mouth is shocking, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. He is playing a Pokemon version of Deadpool and that has the potential to be really funny and cute. Renoylds already got me to chuckle a few times and I hope that they didn’t put the best jokes in the trailer. The rest of the cast is promising as well, particularly Justice Smith as Tim. I thought he showed potential in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and I’m interested to see how he does in a starring role.
After watching this trailer I can confidently say that I am very excited to see Detective Pikachu. It’s ridiculous and more than a little bit weird, but Pokemon has always been that way. It looks like a fun Pokemon romp and exactly the kind of movie that a 6-year-old me would’ve have wanted and that’s really all I can ask for.