Wow. A live action Pokemon movie by a major studio? This feels surreal. Actually, there are a lot of elements in this Detective Pikachu trailer that feel like they shouldn’t work, and yet, they somehow do.
First things first, there are a couple of ways to do a live action Pokemon movie. You can do it like the Japanese Detective Pikachu movie, and have Pokemon animated in a 3D rendering that looks more like a game, but recognizable. Exhibit A:
Or, you can have the Pokemon try to look like real-life animals, which puts them in that weird uncanny valley territory. Exhibit B:
The new American Detective Pikachu movie has decided to go with the latter, potentially nightmare inducing version. And you know what? I’m kind of here for it.
Take in mind that this movie has a smart mouthed Pikachu voiced by none other than Ryan Reynolds, features an actor from Big Little Lies, is based on a lesser known game in the Pokemon franchise, possibly works as a neo-noire film ala Blade Runner, and suddenly realistic-looking Pokemon doesn’t seem like the strangest thing about it. Okay, it’s still up there. But hey, if you’re going to go with “weird,” you might as well go all out. The tagline isn’t “Gotta catch most of ’em,” after all.
Detective Pikachu will crack open the case in theaters on May 11, 2019. The film stars Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, and Ryan Reynolds as the mouse with a mouth.