Look, nobody would be surprised if the upcoming Pokémon movie, Detective Pikachu, was garbage. We live in an age of garbage, in which movie studios are competing to release the most shameless possible cash grab based on whatever existing intellectual properties they’ve got collecting dust on the back shelf. Detective Pikachu could very well be one of them. Stitch together a few Pokémon, get Ryan Reynolds to voice one of them and just let the bankable nostalgia roll into the coffer. Easy money. No need to overdo it.
And yet, every single piece of marketing we’ve seen so far looks exciting and inventive, as if the Detective Pikachu team dared themselves to go the extra mile with this particular remember berry. The sight gags are genuinely clever, and the special effects look really special. Justice Smith appears to be putting in way more than the requisite family movie effort, and the script seems to be at least trying for some real moments of emotion. This all could still tumble down the trash shoot but so far, color us way more intrigued than this movie has any right to. We’ll know more when it lands in theaters on May 10.