Film Discussion

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu – 2019 Preview

Pokemon has been around for over 20 years now and is the third biggest selling video-game franchise behind Super Mario and Sonic The Hedgehog. The series is so popular and so open to adaptation (there is no shortage of the kind of stories that can be told within its universe) and yet there hasn’t been a live action release of a Pokemon movie. Until now.

Maybe this has been down to the fact that there have been animated movies almost every year since the inception of the franchise, or maybe it’s because technology wasn’t good enough to be able to bring the titular creatures to life in a believable way? Whatever the reason, fans are finally getting the (mostly) live-action film they’ve been longing for in the form of quirky crime-comedy Pokemon: Detective Pikachu.

Loosely inspired by the spin-off game of the same name, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu sees Justice Smith playing the role of Tim Goodman, a young man with no interest in being a Pokemon trainer, who must unravel the mystery of his missing Private Investigator Father. Luckily for Tim, his father’s former partner, an experienced detective, will help him in his search. The only thing is, his father’s partner is a Pikachu.

READ MORE: Pokemon: Detective Pikachu trailer wows fans 

However, making things a little more interesting is that it would appear Tim can understand this particular yellow electric mouse (who speaks with the voice of Ryan Reynolds), just as his father could, despite everyone else just hearing the normal adorable Pikachu noises.

In the face of many misgivings from lots of Pokemon fans and the general public when it was announced that Legendary were producing a film based on the Nintendo 3DS game of the same name, the first trailer for director Rob Letterman and writer Nicole Perlman’s caper seems to have really nailed things. The world looks like a very grounded and well thought out with humans and Pokemon living together. It’s not a world filled with just Pokemon trainers like in the games; people are using Charmanders to help them cook, herds of Bulbasaur wander the forests, and Charizards compete in underground cage-fights. The backgrounds of scenes are filled with posters and signs that show that Pokemon are just an everyday part of this world, part of entertainment, business, and home life.

READ MORE: Pokemon Let’s Go – The Game Boy Games

The trailer did a good job at setting the world up, but it still left a lot unanswered as to the plot of the film. There’s little here to hint at what might have happened to Tim’s father, whether it’s a simple disappearance or if there’s some kind of conspiracy going on. Instead of frustrating, this lack of information seems to be working to the film’s advantage. It has really grabbed people’s attention, shifting from a film that was flying under the radar to one of the most anticipated films of 2019.

Whatever is going to be revealed next is sure to garner much more excitement now that the hype has begun; and any story details they give out will mean so much more than if they’d been given up front. With Pokemon continuing to be one of the most popular franchises in the world, the audience for Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is guaranteed to be big, but it’s going to have a lot that it needs to deliver on to meet expectations.

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