Yo guys, Fario here with a spoiler-free/no-spoilers
journal about Pokémon: Detective Pikachu!
Yesterday afternoon, I took my nephew to go to a local movie theater to see the movie. As big of a Pokémon fan I am, I honestly wasn't super stoked about the movie. Don't get me wrong, the CGI Pokémon didn't look that bad or scary to me (except for some of them, like Aipom). It just didn't seem like my thing, and I didn't play the game that the movie was based off of. Maybe it's 'cuz I'm not that into how Pokémon is being nowadays, or that I'm always skeptical of Hollywood CGI animal movies, but... I dunno.
But my nephew was super stoked no matter what and really wanted to see it. He even really wanted one of the big Pokémon Trading Card Game boxes with a giant Mewtwo promo card, so I told his mom to get it for him for his birthday. That wasn't enough to keep his excitement from the movie, though, so we all knew that we'd have to take him to the cinema eventually.
What convinced me
to go though was my sister, who is traveling abroad in Japan right now. Because of this, she got to see Detective Pikachu
on May 3rd, the day the movie premiered in Japan and was a whole week before America even got to see the movie. She told me that the movie was good, that she liked Bulbasaur in the movie, and, after a certain question I asked her, said that having Deadpool as Pikachu was better than if it was the Lorax (take that for what you will lol). When she saw the movie, it was all in English, which surprised me since I expected there to be a Japanese dub or something. I guess not.
But yeah, what she said about the movie intrigued me and she told me to try to watch it anyway... and so I have.
My nephew and I got to the theater 50 minutes before the show, so we played Pokémon Trozei
(another one of my nephew's birthday presents was a 2DS, so he played with that while I had my 3DS) while we waited to enter the theater room. When we were allowed in, the theater put on a series of clips (I don't remember what they called it, but I'll call it a clipshow for now since I dunno if there's a better word). Usually in other theaters I've been in, the clipshow before the movie would be stuff like advertisements and theater warnings and whatever. Now, this clipshow did have some of that, but it was only a small part of the overall clipshow.
Unexpectedly (and to my pleasant surprise), the very first clip that was put on was, straight-up and not kidding, gameplay of the original Pokémon Stadium
with an instrumental of Mezase Pokémon Master
(the first opening theme to the original Japanese version of the Pokémon anime) playing in the background. The theater seemed to make itself clear that it was popular with older audiences (there was even an ad for the theater's bar in the middle of the clipshow), but I didn't know until that very moment that this theater was clearly aiming at specifically the older and more serious Pokémon fans. I mean, I'm pretty sure that no kid in there would've recognized Pokémon Stadium
right away if it weren't for the title screen being shown, and certainly barely anyone
would have recognized the first Japanese Pokémon opening playing if they weren't in a family with at least one die-hard Pokémon fan (like mine).
To further add to the clear Pokéfanservice (ba-dum-tsssh)
, there were several segments of the famous "Who's That Pokémon?" eyecatch back from the anime's early days and a bunch of infamous clips from Japan's Pikachu Festival (you know what I'm talking about, right? the ones with the giant dancing Pikachu costumes?) spliced in and here through the clipshow. The Pokémon Stadium
gameplay wasn't the only surprising thing being put on, of course. Right after that, the infamous NBC report about "Pokémania" from 1999 was put on (several people laughed at the psychiatrist advising against Pokémon lol). Then there was gameplay of Pokémon Snap
put on. And the Magikarp Song. And the first episode of Pokémon Generations
(the ONA series on YouTube, remember?). And some other things I forgot about.
The most surprising parts of the clipshow for me were three clips they put in: the one that came earlier of the three was the "Chinpokomon" ad from South Park,
the scene from The Simpsons
referencing the Pokémon Shock incident, and a clip in Japanese about a woman discussing about the return of the Pokémon anime after the events of Pokémon Shock (it's on YouTube known as "Pokémon Problem Inspection Report (Subtitled)"
if you want to see it).
I haven't actually seen any of these scenes before, but I recognized the first two of these three right away. Not offended or anything, but it's just I wasn't expecting that considering they were clearly parodying Pokémon, hahaha. The last clip was one I never saw or heard of before, but it was pretty clear that the woman was referring to the infamous Electric Soldier Porygon
episode from what she was talking about and the warning about sitting quite away from the TV at the end. The clip featured lots of fan-mail wishing for the anime's return, which, alongside with the pictures that fans drew, was pretty touching.
I dunno if this clipshow was exclusive to this theater only (I'm 75% sure it is though), but this whole clipshow and the movie etiquette PSA right before the movie (which featured stop-motion Godzilla) were pretty delightful to see. Props to the people involved in putting 'em all together.
Spoiler-free thoughts about the movie
My nephew thought it was a 10/10 while I thought it was a 6/10.
Before you all get your torches, I want to explain.
I wasn't particularly hyped or really into the movie, but it was passable and wasn't technically boring to me or anything. The acting was eh-okay I guess, but during the beginning or something, I had the strange feeling I was watching some really high-budget video online instead of a feature film (not sure why lol). People were laughing most of the time, especially at Detective Pikachu's many one-liners, but I really only laughed at parts where people were looking at the main character like crazy whenever he was talking to the Pikachu... which was a tiny part of the whole movie.
There was another part where I was chuckling a little bit though, and it was from one of the very suspicious clearly-an-antagonist characters. He sounded kinda familiar and when I watched YourMovieSucksdotorg's review, he pretty much clarified who the guy sounded like to me whenever he spoke. Pretty funny if you know who YMS is referring to.(Speaking of YMS, his quick review on the movie has so many dislikes!!! Yikes! Haven't seen that many since his quickie on Incredibles 2... while I liked that movie unlike him, I don't find his statements on this movie to be all that un-agreeable tbh...)
The story was okay and had some predictable parts for this kind of movie, but at the same, it did honestly surprise me on a few parts. Still wasn't enough to win me over, though.
Despite my "meh" feelings on the movie, I didn't really regret watching it and my nephew definitely didn't. If you're a Pokémon fan (especially of Gen 1/Kanto) or if you played the original Detective Pikachu
game, yeah go ahead, check this one out.
Unfortunately, there was no post-credits scene (the viral clip of Detective Pikachu dancing wasn't in the movie either), so don't bother staying past the credits like I did if you are going to see it.
But hey, there was something just as nice when the movie was over anyway. A theater employee handed me and my nephew each a Detective Pikachu-
themed Pokémon Trading Card Game booster pack, which is pretty neat and something that I certainly don't see everyday. I gave my nephew my booster since I don't really collect TCG cards anymore. He already got a ton of these packs when he opened his Mewtwo Detective Pikachu
TCG box on his birthday, but he was pretty excited regardless.
And he had every right to. When we did open them, each of the two packs were not like the 4-card packs that were in his Mewtwo box. There were only two cards in each one (with one being a Detective Pikachu holo and a random holo card from the set), but there was an additional card-sized pic of Detective Pikachu and a small brochure-thing featuring all the cards and some promo ad stuff. It was pretty clear that these packs were theater-exclusive.
...So! What are your thoughts on the movie? Did you see it? Are you planning to?
Lemme know of your thoughts about it and of my theatrical experience, I'd love to hear it!
I've been typing this for literally hours...... I dunno what to type, so I guess I type pretty slowly. Whoops.
School's out! (for me at least.)