When I heard Detective Pikachu was coming to theaters, I expected just a pikachu in a deertalker cap. When I saw the previews for Detective Pikachu, I expected just a pikachu in a deertalker cap. And walking into the theater this morning, I expected to see just a pikachu in a deerstalker cap.
But I play Pokemon Go, I've loved Ryan Reynolds since the first Van Wilder. (Somehow his talents never got me to like Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place.) And I'm on board for big CGI blockbusters. So, hey, this movie hit me right in a sweet spot without the deerstalker cap, so no problem going to see it. But what did I find there?
A Watson story. Not a Sherlock Holmes story. A John Watson story.
Tim Goodman is young man who may not have been on the battlefield, but he's not had the best life. His Stamford is trying to match him up with a companion, but not having any luck. And he's just had a close family member with the initial "H." meet a sad end. (The full name is "Harry," for those of you whose headcanon tends toward the BBC Sherlock Watson.)
In finding himself in the great metropolis of Pokemon world, Ryme City, Goodman finds himself forced to take on a room-mate, an oddball detective with a caffeine addiction, the detective Pikachu. (Pokemon don't usually have names outside of their species name.)
Sound like a Watson story to you? Sure seems like one to me.
This may not be an Arthur Conan Doyle adaptation or tribute enough for a more Canon faithful Sherlockian, but as my own evolution through reading BBC Sherlock fic and practicing the principles of Doyle's Rotary Coffin, I'm come to enjoy some core outlines of a Holmes/Watson dynamic, and Detective Pikachu really has that at its emotional core.
And while I don't want to give away plot spoilers, that thing that always tends to happen to Sherlock Holmes happens to detective Pikachu. And his Watson, Tim Goodman, reacts accordingly. There is definitely a Watson arc to this tale, even if eventually the pair discover a bond that even goes beyond our traditional pair (or maybe even Johnlock, in a way).
While I don't know if we'll see a full-fledged sequel to this movie, as the world of Pokemon is wide and full of stories to be told, it was great to see another movie with a great opening weekend and a pretty successful set of reviews with the critics based on the Watson-meets-Holmes dynamic.
Still, like Holmes and Watson and Sherlock Gnomes, Detective Pikachu is not a film for every Sherlockian. But if the preview intrigues, and you've got an open heart for a good Watson, I'd completely recommend this movie. I had a great time with it, and am glad to add it to the outer regions of the pantheon Sherlockian.