When Legendary announced that it was intending to make a live action Pokémon film, fans were a little taken aback when they found out that it was going to be Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. Originally an episodic downloadable game that eventually received a full retail release, the film focuses on a Pikachu that teams up with a human that can understand it in order to solve a mystery.
Whilst many were dubious about the project, especially with how the film would integrate live action Pokémon creatures with the real world, the new trailer has thankfully put many of the worries around the project to bed.
Starring Justice Smith as Tim Goodman, a young man looking for his missing private eye father, who is joined on his mission by his father’s former partner, Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds). Set in the brand new Ryme City, a location never before seen in any of the Pokémon games, shows, or mangas, the story will force Tim to work with the strange Pikachu to solve a much larger mystery.
The first trailer sets a great tone for the new film, showing Ryme City as a neon-light metropolis that wouldn’t look out of place in a regular gritty crime story. Tim is a young man giving up on his dreams in order to fit in with the monotony of adult life, but finds himself drawn into a dark conspiracy. The set-up isn’t completely original, and could be one of any number of noirish crime stories, but the inclusion of Pokémon makes this feel completely unique.
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The trailer has already demonstrated that the team behind the film have made a lot of effort to blend the beats of a mystery story with things that are commonplace within the Pokémon universe, such as Mr Mime using the move Barrier to prevent Detective Pikachu from going ‘bad cop’ on him. It also looks like the film will be blending elements that feel more at home in a super-hero film, Greninja leaping through a brightly lit forest and firing water attacks, and an entire valley folding up upon itself. The film appears to be blending together several genres and tones, but if it works as well in the final product as it does in the trailer this isn’t going to be much of an issue.
Eagle-eyed fans have also been reacting to the many, many Easter eggs thrown into the backgrounds of various scenes. Some of these obvious ones are the Pokemon that litter the locations, including a group of Emolga on top of a market stall, and the cute little spider-like Joltik crawling around, but others include much less obvious nods. In one scene Tim enters what appears to be his old bedroom, which is covered in posters advertising famous Pokémon matches between creatures, including the legendary Articuno, as well as advertising for the Sinnoh Championships. Even the poster is packed full of references to things like the Johto Sport Club and MooMoo Milk.
Fans appear to be incredibly pleased with the trailer, and as a lifelong fan I too am hugely happy with it. The film has gone from a project I was dreading to a film that’s genuinely exciting, something that’s new and original even in the Pokemon franchise that has had 20 films already. The filmmakers appear to have put a huge amount of effort into the details and making the creatures work in the real world, whilst also giving viewers an interesting story. 2019 is certainly going to be an exciting year for Pokémon fans thanks to Detective Pikachu.
READ MORE: Pokémon Let’s Go – The Game Boy Games