"Pokémon: Detective Pikachu" Talkback (Spoilers)

Rate this Pokémon Quest

  • *****

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • ****1/2

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • ****

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • ***1/2

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  • ***

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • **1/2

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  • **

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  • *1/2

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Well-Known Member
Another idea I had for Pokemon Cinematic Universe movies were animated movies featuring Poke-fied versions of classic cartoon characters in the WB library, produced by Warner Animation Group.

Prospective names for the Pokemon equivalents of the Looney Tunes characters could include (but not limited to):

Bugs Bunny - Bailey Buneary
Daffy Duck - Swanky Swanna
Porky Pig - Grady Grumpig
Elmer Fudd - Elton Judd
Yosemite Sam - Nimbasa Nick

Tom and Jerry could be turned into Tim and Larry, a Meowth and Pikachu (also a cat and mouse team)

Yogi Bear could become Uriah Ursaring, with Boo-Boo being a Teddiursa called Hoo-Loo (also a allusion to the Hulu streaming service).

The Scooby-Doo equivalent could be a Bolthund

Fone Bone

Hindsight 2020!
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

A likable enough movie, but I did not anticipate having to write an in-depth review for a movie this clearly disposable. Then I reasoned maybe the fact that the franchise is disposable would make an interesting review on its own. After all, I don't watch or review the Pokemon cartoons, so this will be my first official review of anything in the franchise that I have posted on my LiveJournal and elsewhere.

I need to get off my chest this next fact and I sincerely hope I don't offend too many Pokemon fans. I don't play the videogames so I can't judge that specific aspect of the franchise and the fandom. As far as I've heard, the games are fun and high-quality. But the cartoons that I have seen are outright atrocious. The reason I never review the show is because I can never sit through an episode the entire way through. It is that revolting to me. I think I made it once or twice, but God everything about it is everything I hate about bad kids' television, and bad television in general.

South Park did a Pokemon parody early on in its run that is shockingly offensive in hindsight for its portrayals of Asians. South Park's racist humor in general from that era of the show has aged VERY badly. But that episode did say something true about the Pokemon cartoons that I don't think people who grew up with the cartoons and still like them will ever understand or appreciate. They don't make sense to actual adults. They are confusing. They are stupid. They are insular and speak in a language completely incomprehensible to people who don't play the games or collect the cards, which is pretty much the biggest sin any tie-in project from a different medium could ever make. Pokemon the cartoon is so terrible because it isn't out to win new fans or get people interested in the characters to make them want to play the games. It insists the audience know everything inside and out to understand it. I think the most infuriatingly stupid part of the cartoon is the fact that the kiddie morals every week don't involve the correct way to treat to other people. They involve the correct way to treat different Pokemon, which is a kids moral that has absolutely NO real-world value whatsoever, which means neither do the cartoons. I was an adult when I saw my first episode of Pokemon. And my distaste and confusion over it mirrors the adults on South Park completely. As a television show, I can't actually think of too many redeeming virtues for it.

As far as the movie is concerned, I liked it as is started, and I liked it slightly less as it went along. Unlike the cartoons is IS much more accessible to newbs and people unfamiliar to the games, but there ARE still parts that are insular, which I guess is fine for big screen adaptations of preexisting properties. Or it would be if I didn't think that was Pokemon's biggest weakness to begin with, and something to avoid entirely. But it IS this franchise, and all it does is sell things, so I can a bit disappointed, but I cannot be surprised.

I did like the first half hour of the movie very much. I liked the feel and the tone of the world, and the very Alternate Universeness of everything. It felt very much in the mold of Who Framed Roger Rabbit with humans and animated characters living in the same world. There is no allegory for segregation or racism in this movie, but the Roger Rabbit similarities repeatedly knocked me over the head throughout the movie. The Bone-headed Pokemon even does a bit with Pikachu dangerously close to Tweety Bird's "All out of piddies," bit near the end. I won't alert their lawyers if you don't.

I found the next hour or so a bit of a trial and kind of predictable, and at places boring. The special effects were neat, but since Bill Nighy was the most famous human in the cast, of course he's the secret villain, and the film is fooling no-one. Family Guy did a clever and true Law & Order cutaway where they correctly pointed out that the murderer on that show every week winds up being the most famous person in the guest cast. If you ask me, that's no way to run a mystery. And in a Detective Pikachu feature, that's also a problem.

I suspect the revelation that Pikachu is Tim's father will be a bit polarizing, but while I myself find it way too pat, I also kind of dig it because it will make some aspects of the film I disliked no big deal in retrospect. I was really leery of the fact that Pikachu would make inappropriate jokes and curse. But if he's actually Ryan Reynolds the entire time it's not actually Pikachu doing that. I also really like that this makes it a LOT harder for producers to come up with an automatic premise for a sequel. It can be done of course, and probably will be because the film was a success. But one of the most ill-advised current trends among movies is that they all seem SO invested in setting up sequels and Cinematic Universes in the first picture and I'm like, "Why can't the movie I just saw have a decent closed ending?" I think on a whole the Sonic The Hedgehog movie was better than this. But I responded to the happy ending and no tags to this much better than I did Sonic looking to build itself a mega-franchise in the future. I don't dislike sequels. I dislike first movies teasing sequels instead of telling their own entire story. And I like that this movie broke that specific current genre rule. I would be giving this a passing grade for that alone.

So yeah, I disliked some aspects to it, and I dislike Pokemon as a whole. But as far as movies and adaptations of kiddie stuff goes, I felt it did more right than it did wrong. ***1/2.

Alternate Opening:

That was amazingly awful. I'm not saying the actual beginning to the movie is boss or anything, but that would have been a disaster. Holy cow. No wonder they went back to the drawing board on how to begin things. 0.

Mr. Mime's Audio Commentary:

This is about as useless an extra as the entire episode Everybody Loves Hypnotoad on one of the Futurama movies, or the alien language track on the Galaxy Quest DVD. However it only lasts a couple of minutes, and isn't deliberately outright annoying, so it's nowhere NEAR as intolerable as those two things. But it's about as useful. *1/2.

Carry On Music Video:

This is basically every end credits movie song that ever existed. I'm not impressed at all. *.


Well-Known Member
Overall, I'd love more homages to previously released movies and TV series in the Pokemon Cinematic Universe making it a celebration of the histories of both film and television.


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