Let’s talk Detective Pikachu: Trailer impressions

Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros, and The Pokémon Company released the trailer for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu earlier today. So far, the Internet has been showering it with praise. My friends and I have been texting and chatting about the trailer for hours. As lifelong Pokémon fans, seeing a trailer for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu was a surreal experience. So, how does the Pokémon franchise’s first foray into live-action look? Pretty darn good!

The opening shots of the trailer set up the universe, where humans and Pokémon live in unity. We’re introduced to Tim, our protagonist, who is searching for his missing father. To aid him on the mystery is the titular Detective Pikachu, wonderfully voiced by Ryan Reynolds. The trailer is quick to point out that the full film will be a comedic affair. With shades of Deadpool thrown into the mix, Reynolds’ portrayal of the popular Pokémon is hysterical throughout.

The trailer is very coy when it comes to letting the audience know what the film is about. There are instances of story beats, but the trailer mainly shows jokes, and they mostly land. My most pressing question is what type of movie is Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, exactly? Is it a straight-up comedy? Is it a crime drama with some humor thrown in? The trailer isn’t entirely clear. But make no mistake, this is a family-film featuring iconic Pokémon that fans have loved for years.

Pokemon are everywhere

A few highlights definitely involved seeing the different types of Pokémon. A few notable ones were Charmander, Charizard, Bulbasaur, Greninja, Psyduck, Jigglypuff, Mr. Mime, and of course, Pikachu. I was grinning from ear to ear when I saw Jigglypuff holding the marker it uses when people fall asleep. It’s a cool nod to people who grew up watching the anime in the 90s.

Mr. Mime stole the show for me. The CGI model for the Pokémon looks fantastic, but the mannerisms made Mr. Mime a standout. The interrogation sequence was hysterical, and the banter between Mr. Mime, Detective Pikachu, and Tim made it a highlight. Him miming for Pikachu to shove it was an unexpectedly mature bit for a kids’ film, and I’m loving that. It looks like The Pokémon Company and Warner Bros are catering to viewers, both old and new.

Realistic Pokémon; Sign me up

So the Pokémon models look great. Detective Pikachu looks fantastic with his furry skin and adorable checks. Jigglypuff’s hair curl is a nice added touch and brings some personality to this interpretation of the Pokémon. Charizard and Greninja look fierce, the Bulbasaur look jovial, and Psyduck is that same zany Pokémon I’ve laughed at since I was a child. Realistic Pokémon was something I’ve never thought of. It could be because of the anime and the video games, but in my mind, they are always cartoony. I like that the producers decided to show viewers that Pokémon exist in the real world, therefore they should have a realistic look. I’m interested to see what other Pokémon are used in the film. One thing’s for sure, the studio can wow viewers with how they portray other Pokémon on screen.

Cautiously optimistic

With every movie, trailers are designed to get people pumped up for an upcoming show, movie, or video game. I’ve been burned because of hype in the past, so I’m approaching Pokémon: Detective Pikachu with caution. There are so many things going for the film.

  1. Ryan Reynolds owns the screen as Detective Pikachu
  2. The humor is consistent
  3. The Pokémon models look fantastic
  4. The tone is excellent
  5. It’s not cheesy like it could have been
  6. The transition from anime to live-action looks faithful to the source material

Unfortunately, video game and anime adaptations don’t always have a great track record. In an industry full of terrible Resident Evil films, an abysmal Dragon Ball movie, and countless Uwe Boll directed films, it’s understandable to be nervous about Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. I’m optimistic because of two factors; Ryan Reynolds and an original story. Fans of Deadpool know that Reynolds is often dedicated to the role. He did wonders bringing a beloved comic character to film. I think he can do the same for Detective Pikachu. Having an original storyline that distances itself from the anime means that people unfamiliar with the franchise can enjoy the movie without feeling lost.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu releases on May 10, 2019. I can’t wait to learn more about the narrative and what type of film we’ll be getting. While we have to wait until next year, if the trailer is any indication, fans of the Pokémon franchise will be in for an absolute treat.

Andrew Gonzalez
Andrew Gonzalez is the Co-Editor-In-Chief of Xbox Enthusiast. When not writing about Xbox, he's usually reading comics, talking about Taylor Swift, and dreaming of the perfect Jet Force Gemini Reboot. You can follow him on Twitter. @AJGVulture89