When you look at what movies are being released from 2020 onwards, I'm sure you can't help but think that creativity is dead. Remakes, adaptations, sequels and live-actions are the only types of movies you can be sure to be released in the next few years; and yes, it's not bad. But so far, most of these type of movies can be a hit or miss. Even the MCU movies, while considered mostly a hit, still has a few misses here and there.
But the worse hit will always be video game movies, in which after so many years there's barely one that you would even consider a movie video game adaptation that can be considered a hit. If you go by numbers, then the closest would be Prince of Persia. But let's face it; it still wasn't a good adaptation that gave the original video game justice.
But Pokemon Detective Pikachu gave us some level of hope. With some pretty impressive designs and trailers, this video game adaptation looked set to be the very best, like no one ever was. So did it?
Get lost in the world of Pokémon
If there's one thing this adaptation did right; it's the setting of the movie. Detective Pikachu managed to create a world that looks authentic, believable and also totally plausible. The lack of copied brands from our world is definitely a great move into making this world more believable and realistic; even little details like their smartphones being a Pokédex is such a great addition that makes the world completely believable.
But what really makes the setting shine is most definitely the Pokémon. The people behind the design deserve plenty of praise; as many of the Pokémons look amazing and interact with the humans in a way that is totally endearing and a pleasure to watch on the big screen. Both adults and children alike will coo and whisper in excitement at the sight of familiar Pokémon, even in the background, and the joy of seeing the role they play in that world is definitely a sight to behold.
It's because of this, the movie gets adaptations right; creating a video game world that is a sight to behold in cinemas is a major plus and definitely a great attraction to both fans of the Pokémon series or those with no knowledge on Pokemon whatsoever.
It could be better though...
But it's not to say that the movie doesn't have its faults. While the Pokemons and the world it's in may be the best part of the movie, the human aspect falters with some rather cliched characters and lack of proper development. The exception being, of course, the main protagonist, but even he suffers from some rather cliched characterisations.
This then leads to a lot of cliches in the plot as well; with every twist either coming out of nowhere, shoed in for convenience, or even come off as downright predictable. As a kids movie, this isn't a problem whatsoever. But even kids who have watched a few movies may find some of these twists predictable, lacking that sense of tension the movie aimed to create.
A winner in its own right
Even with that said, Detective Pikachu is far from being a bad video game adaptation. The original video game was pretty charming in itself, but I wouldn't go so far to say the video game is still superior to its live action adaptation. In fact, it's hard to compare them both as they each have their own charm; the game being interactive and interesting, while the movie offers a beautiful world we would love to see over and over again.
Though, I suppose the Detective Pikachu movie wins just by being able to bring joy to cinema-goers; something most video game movies have failed to achieve. And that in itself makes it a worthy video game movie that gives us hope that video game adaptations can improve and create more hits than misses.