Wednesday, August 14, 2019

In Retrospect: Detective Pikachu

I finally figured it out guys.

The thought occured to me while I was watching this movie, why is Detective Pikachu the absolute best video game movie? What makes this film have the secret ingredient that other video game movies have tried and failed to have for decades? Other movies have not entirely replicated their games, the Super Mario Bros. Movie took liberties with the story, Street Fighter The Movie didn't follow the plot perfectly, yet this one worked. Why? And it took me forever to find out but now I know, Pokemon has no story. It just doesn't. What is the plot of Pokemon Red and Blue? You journey out into the world, collect fantastical creatures, and challenge leaders of various gyms until in the end there can be only one. And that is why this movie works! You can do whatever you wish with the story and it would completely work. Pokemon is a crafted miracle, this series has existed for just as long if not longer than myself, so 25 years, and though it hasn't reached that Pokemania fever in the late 90s leading into the new millenium again, it is still popular, still beloved, still embedded in pop culture. Now I'm not saying Pokemon could be the one and only video game series that could eveeerrrr be made into a movie, with the right creative team you could make a Legend Of Zelda movie, you could make a Halo movie, You could make an Earthbound movie for crying out loud! It is all possible. Now let's be harshly true with ourselves, video game movies are nearly impossible to make and make well. But Pokemon is that golden child because it has just enough of reality mixed with the fantastical elements to make it work, it has always been a feasible movie to make. You take our normal everyday world, throw in some creative creatures, and bam you got a series you could do anything with. It's really quite amazing. Plus you add perfect timing with my generation having kids of their own and this was always going to be a surefire hit! But does the film work on repeat viewing when you know the solution to the mystery? Ehhhh....some things really work, I love what they did with Ditto, I love the fact they pull a 1989 Batman with the gas balloons, the stuff they subvert is well done, buuut seriously the kid just...forgot his dad's voice? Was it really that hard to defeat the villain? In fact the villains plan was a bit, huuuh?? So yeah, the ending is a bit mixed but when more than half the movie is a fun, enjoyable, colorful, and very entertaining movie you don't mind too much. Still needs more Snorlax though. I mean could you imagine if he got dosed with that gas and just blasted hyperbeams and pulled a Man Of Steel, just levelling skyscrapers? Tonally inconsistent, yes. Incredible joygasm, ohhhh yeeeeah. I know he's practically shaped like a friend, and honestly I can't praise the art direction with the pokemon enough, but come on! Give my boy some love! Still a 7/10 despite the slight issues, can't wait to see more.

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