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A Thunderbolt To The Brain
By Ghia Vitale
Pokémon Detective Pikachu is Pokémon’s first live-action movie. This movie gives viewers a taste of what reality would look like if humans actually lived alongside Pokémon. Warning: Light spoilers ahead!
Pokémon Detective Pikachu hit movie theaters in the United States on May 10, 2019. Since then, the movie has made $63.404 million. Pokémon’s widespread audience is a major reason for this high number. People of all ages were psyched excited to see this movie since before it came out. Fortunately, I’m glad to say this movie lives up to a lot of the hype it has been getting since before its release.
I consider myself a fan of Pokémon media. My interest in Pokémon peaked when the Red, Blue, and Yellow games came out. I also played the Gold and Silver games. On top of all that, I was also collecting Pokémon cards and watching the anime. Shortly after playing Gold and Silver, other interests attracted my attention and I stopped playing Pokémon on Game Boy. I am most familiar with the first generation of Pokémon, but I appreciate the following generations of Pokémon as well.
Because I stopped playing Pokémon after Gold and Silver, I never got to play Detective Pikachu, the game that Pokémon Detective Pikachu is based on. However, the movie is fast-paced in the same way a video game is. The movie lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes, but when the movie finished, I felt I had only been in the movie theater for about 45 minutes. Plus, the movie’s plot overlaps with the game’s plot, so even the story has a video game “feel” to it as well.
Now, I’m far from being the only adult Pokémon fan I know. I know this because of how many adults I know who also saw Pokémon Detective Pikachu. The fact that Pokémon appeals to a wide range of ages presented a creative challenge for this movie. The plot had to be understandable for children while also entertaining for adults. The movie plot is simple, but I found it to be entertaining nonetheless. However, I’ve heard others are complaining about the simple plot, claiming it’s too easy to understand.
Here’s what a couple of Quail Bell Crew members have to say about it:
“For people who are complaining about the fairly thin plot, c’mon!” said Garrett Riggs. “If you want sophisticated, multilayered plots, get thee to a Shakespeare in the Park performance instead.”
Personally, I agree with this sentiment. I also agree with the following statement:
“Yes, the plot was threadbare and a tad predictable,” said Archita Mittra, “but it had so much heart in it, particularly the partnership between Tim Goodman and a talking Pikachu.”
It’s true: The connection between Tim Goodman and the talking Pikachu gives their relationship a more realistic, convincing feel. This movie does a great job of showing how the world would be if people actually lived alongside pocket monsters. The live-action depictions of Pokémon also give an accurate view of what Pokémon would look like if they existed in real life. Personally, it’s been my dream to live in a world with live Pokémon running around since I started playing the Nintendo games. This movie lets me sample what it would be like if I somehow realized this dream.
The details on some of the Pokémon in this movie are incredible. For example, Jiggly Puff and Snorlax both have fur in this movie, something I hadn’t imagined prior to seeing this. Charizard looks like an actual reptilian creature. However, Pikachu takes the spotlight. Pikachu (a character who used to just repeated his name) showcases a dimension to his character that I’ve never seen before. Old school Pikachu used to refuse to obey Ash and just say, “Pika pika!” The Pikachu in Pokémon Detective Pikachu is sarcastic, funny, and addicted to coffee.
Sometimes, this movie even gets a little too real. In the beginning of the movie, there’s a seen where Lickitung licks Tim Goodman and viewers get a graphic look at Lickitung’s massive, wet tongue. Kotaku says The Pokémon Company didn’t like the Lickitung scene, but I definitely did! Seeing CGI Pokémon gave me the realistic perspective on Pokémon I always wanted. This is a major reason why I think this movie is definitely a must-see for Pokémon fans.
Hopefully, in the future, we can interact with Pokémon in virtual reality or 3-D simulators. Then I will officially be able to die happy. (Catch up already, technology!) However, Pokémon Detective Pikachu does a good job of giving us a glimpse into a more realistic view of the Pokémon world. Overall, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes Pokémon.
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