Semi-Serious

A blog. Unclear what percent serious.

The Detective Pikachu Trailer Is the Perfect 2018 Movie

This link goes to the trailer for the Detective Pikachu movie. Take a moment to go watch it. I will too, because I don’t think I’ve seen this enough times (I’m at 7, so far). Okay are you done? I am too. Let’s continue.

What.
the.
fuck.
is.
this.
movie.

I’m going to skip the part where I ask who asked for this. It’s clear no one did, which is a problem. That’s our fault. Who among us really knows what we want in life? We don’t. But apparently Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Legendary and The Pokémon Company do. They know exactly what we want, even if we don’t. I’m grateful for that.

This kid wants to be a cop. He is 23 years old. Or at least the actor is. Either way, he is way too old to be a Pokémon trainer by now. He grew up with lofty ideas of traveling the world, meeting new friends, and becoming the very best, like no one ever was. Now, he knows that dream is a lie. His father was a police officer. Maybe he can use that connection to eek out a meager living in a dim, grisly city that he knows will never favor him like it did his father.

30 seconds into this movie, without a single Pokémon in sight, and already this film has captured the cultural zeitgeist. But disillusioned nihilism is not the trademark of 2018. It’s just the fertile ground in which it grew.

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What.

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WHAT.

So Ryan Reynold’s voice is coming out of Pikachu. That’s cool. That makes sense.

No, you know what? That’s perfect. The last time I heard Ryan Reynold’s voice was when he was explaining directly to the audience why he couldn’t kill baby Hitler in a deleted mid-credits scene from Deadpool 2. Why shouldn’t that same voice—and it is the same voice, Ryan Reynolds wouldn’t dare obfuscate his brand, even for a Pokémon movie—come out of one of the most emotionally pure and innocent symbols of my childhood.

Deep breaths. Let’s keep going.

Deep breaths. Let’s keep going.

Only our cop friend and main character, Tim Goodman, can hear Ryan Reynolds. Everyone else, blissfully ignorant, hears the trademark PIKA-PI-KA! that you remember from the old cartoons. The somnambulant public may live their lives unaware of the pleas of Pikachu, but Goodman is now aware. Woke, if you will, to the nuanced thoughts of a character, no a person, that everyone else was content to infantilize and ignore.

He will spend the rest of the scene begging for anyone else to recognize Pikachu’s voice. He will do so in vain.

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Did that fucking car just blow up?

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WAS THERE A DUDE IN THAT CAR THAT JUST EXPLODED?

This was produced in cooperation with The Pokémon Company.

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Jigglypuff has fur. Growing out of her ears. Also Jigglypuff has fur. In case you were wondering whether or not Pokémon have fur. It seems to be on a case-by-case basis, though, as a row of Bulbasaurs have more of a reptilian skin and oh god animators had to design all of these. Somewhere, there is concept art with even weirder versions of these Pokémon.

Did someone draw up a version of Jigglypuff with scales? Bare skin? I hope so.

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HOLY FUCKING SHIT IS THAT MOTHERFUCKING CHARIZARD IN AN UNDERGROUND FIGHTING RING????

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“My problem is that I push people away and then hate them for leaving.” — Pikachu, 2019

I have no idea what’s happening. Am I supposed to be focusing on the fur? I don’t care. Pikachu is making me question the way I live my life. This isn’t what I expected. But maybe it’s what I needed? Is Pikachu right? Am I pushing those closest to me away because I fear the intimacy and support that I so badly need, but am loathe to ask for? Is a furry CGI Pokémon in a Sherlock Holmes hat interpreting Mr. Mime really making me this introspective?

I guess so.

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“There’s magic that brought us together. And that magic is hope.”

At the 1:42 mark, Pikachu—again, using the voice of Ryan Reynolds—delivers the obvious emotional core of the movie. Again, the “movie” here meaning the trailer. Why can Goodman hear Pikachu talk? Why did they pick up a Psyduck? What is Kathryn Newton doing here? Wait, Bill Nighy is in this movie?? Is he playing Psyduck?!

None of these questions matter. We only need to question how we got here in so much as it enables us to move forward. Pikachu—Reynolds—isn’t delivering a message of returning to the past. He’s telling us there’s a way forward.

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Me, too, Mr. Mime. Me, too.