Tag Archives: pokemon

Pokemon Detective Pikachu Review

I’ve waited about twenty years for this movie; not specifically a movie about a pikachu that was a detective, but a live action pokemon movie. Yes I am a fan of the Pokemon franchise, I have kept up with the videogames based on my income level (so far gen 5 is the only gen I had to skip), I have a few issues of Pokemon The Electric Tale of Pikachu, and my favorite arc of Pokemon Adventures is the Ruby/Sapphire arc. I don’t play the cardgame, and I enjoy playing Pokemon Go with my friends, and maybe one day I’ll get into competitive battling. I also have various pikachu dolls around my room…

So then, a live action pokemon movie that many people thought would either be amazing, suck, or be somewhere in the middle. I think it fell in the middle. I’m going to try to do this review as spoiler free as possible because I’m actually going to share it with a friend of mine who is half of FullCircle Podcast.

Okay I know I said I wasn’t going to do any spoilers, but I like doing this bold text thing, helps me decide when to actually begin the review.

The story follows Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) as he returns to Ryme City with the news of his father’s sudden and mysterious passing in the line of detective work duty. Tim is confronted by a talking pikachu with a detective hat that can speak to him (with Ryan Reynolds’ voice!) The two are joined by Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) a intern reporter who is investigating a mysterious substance that makes pokemon behave unlike themselves.

This movie…was made with alot of love, respect, and understanding of the Pokemon franchise, to the point where my goldfish brain was more focused on easter eggs and accuracy to the pokemon videogames (holy spit is it accurate). There are various references to the anime as well (Lucy has a Psyduck who suffers from headaches, but unlike a certain water trainer, Lucy loves said Psyduck and plays whailemer/whailord sounds to soothe the Psyduck’s headaches.)

The realistic approach to the pokemon may be a little offsetting to both fans and nonfans of the franchise .Some background pokemon look exactly like their game counterparts except in 3d and rendered to blend in with the real world as seen in some of the commercials. I actually had alot of fun playing “who’s that pokemon?” whenever one popped up on the screen and will probably play it again when I take some of my nieces and nephews to see the film.

The actual plot of the move…could be better, but I have heard rumors from Did You Know Movies that this is a test to see if a Pokemon Cinimatic Universe could work, I’d like for it to work. I was actually shocked that some observations I made of the commercials were accurate to the films; in select parts of the Pokemon world battling is frowned upon and underground battles do happen. Nothing more was touched upon in this subject, but I’m very shocked battling took a backseat in the story completely (maybe even trunkspace).

The target audience of Pokemon (fans of the franchise, kids, fans with kids, nerds, weebs, late twenties shut ins) will probably like Detective Pikachu. I don’t know if a mainstream audience will love it, but I may have convinced some friends who aren’t as into pokemon to see it.

I give Pokemon Detective Pikachu three Lure Balls out of Five.

Pokemon I Choose You Review

Pokemon has been here for a very, very long time, so in celebration of the twenty fifth anniversary of the franchise a new Pokemon movie was released to celebrate the yearly tradition of releasing a pokemon movie. Unlike previous Pokemon films which are made primarily to advertise the newest pokemon, give sneak peeks to pokemon coming up in the next batch of games, and show one of the new legendary Pokemon, Pokemon I Choose You is a retelling of the first season of the franchise.

Initially many fans (myself included) thought that this was the movie version of the first three episodes or so. We were slightly wrong.

Spoilers from this point on, I can’t Mewtwo these spoilers outside of your head

There was some controversy surrounding the movie over discrepancies between what happens in the film, and what happened in the first season of the anime. The main controversy being that Misty and Brock are nowhere to be seen during the film and Team Rocket having little to no influence on the plot of the film. Another controversy is the inclusion of many pokemon not seen in the first generation of the game series.

However is this actually a good film despite what many other fanboys on forums and reviewers on YouTube say? Well it’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it is better than Destiny Deoxys (gosh that movie is so dull).

As mentioned above the film is an alternate telling of the first season of pokemon, but it borrows some plots from the first season and despite being a ninety three minute film, a decent amount of what occurred the first half of the season made it into the film without it being a horrible mess. The plots borrowed from the first season include Ash catching a caterpie that would eventually evolve into a butterfree and be forced to part ways with, and Ash’s relationship with a abandoned charmander Ash rescues. Elements from the second generation of games are also brought into the film concerning the plot of the legendary pokemon Ho-oh.

Although I was a little annoyed with the approach taken for this film, I do like the alternative storyline. I feel it handled some of the aesops presented in the first season a little better with Ash learning that sometimes you can’t win them all in the film despite being a good person and the opponent you’re fighting being a bad person.

The antagonist in the film was a shocking revelation that the main antagonist was the pokemon trainer who abandoned charmander to die in a rainstorm and only desired to become a stronger trainer only catching strong pokemon. Instead of being just a jackass trainer featured in the initial episode featuring charmander in the pokemon anime, Cross (the villain for the movie) is a talented trainer, but only views his pokemon as tools to achieve his goal of catching Ho-oh rather than establishing a friendship with his pokemon.

Of course it wouldn’t be a pokemon movie without advertising one of the new legendary pokemon in the series and this time around it’s Marshadow who acts as an observer for Ho-oh to make sure Ash is indeed a worthy pure hearted trainer (I guess he functions as a PR advisor for Ho-oh or something). Unlike previous films, the plot is not focused on Marshadow and the pokemon is only featured the last ten or so minutes once again challenging the human characters and their pokemon to see if they are indeed worthy of battling Ho-oh.

I do like that the film breaks tradition and only focuses on Ash’s relationship with pikachu and his other pokemon captured in the film. I like that Ash’s relationship with his caterpie is deep, even if some parts of it were a montage, I like that caterpie was useful in each stage of his evolution. I like that charmander didn’t become a jerk as soon as he evolved into charmeleon and so on into charizard. There is even development from both pokemon as they evolve with caterpie evolving into butterfree, but wanting to stay loyal and stay with Ash despite also wanting to go and mate (contrary to a mistranslation, butterfree do not die when mating). We also see just how loyal charmander is to Ash in each stage of evolution and how this trust benefits Ash’s team in the long run of the movie.

New characters to replace Misty and Brock are also featured in the film, they are Sorrel, a young pokemon trainer who wants to become a professor of pokemon (don’t they have college in this universe? Or do all researchers and professors go through the Jane Goodwill approach?) and Verity, a young girl from the Sinoh region exploring the Kanto region for unknown reasons. They’re not too shabby.

As with many of the pokemon movies, the art and animation is beautiful with a beautiful mixture of 2d and 3d animation. The end of the film also has a piano rendition of the pokemon theme song at a slower temple that may or may not touch the hearts of long time fans of the pokemon anime.

While the film isn’t amazing, I feel it’s a pretty decent movie and there are things to like about the film despite not sticking exactly to the source material of the anime. I give Pokemon I Choose You three Pokeballs out of Five.