Superheroes: Psyduck

Screenshot close-up capture of Psyduck from ‘Detective Pikachu’. Copyright of The Pokemon Company and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I’m going to go a little off the rails today and talk about what was definitely the best part of ‘Detective Pikachu’. Yes, I’m serious (mostly), and nobody can convince me that he wasn’t. I’m not sure if people would count any of the Pokemon as superheroes necessarily, but Psyduck saved me from thinking that this movie was bad. So he’s a hero in my eyes. I just watched ‘Detective Pikachu’ yesterday and, admittedly, I did not grow up watching anything Pokemon related. I know, weird right? I watched a lot more things like ‘Power Rangers’, ‘Winx’, or ‘Sonic X’ and for some reason missed out on this giant cultural phenomenon. I always knew what Pokemon was and I knew some of the characters from things like ‘Super Smash Bros.’, but not much beyond that. My family is, in general, pretty big fans of Ryan Reynolds so we finally caved and decided to watch this movie last night. It was weird. And not because the Pokemon were weird. But because the plot was just strange. So I will be addressing MAJOR SPOILERS. for those of you who haven’t seen the movie and maybe still want to. But I will mostly address these in the way that Psyduck related to it or could have made it better. Because I love Psyduck.

Good Psyduck:

Stressed Psyduck- Psyduck releases what is essentially the force of a bomb from his head when he gets too stressed. Honestly, me too. Because of this, it is important for the characters to make sure that Psyduck is calm throughout the film. This results in his human partner, Lucy, constantly playing spa music in her car in order to keep him from blowing up. And while Psyduck may look cute and cuddly (or confused and bug-eyed), he’s not above threatening others to keep calm. For example, threatening the life of Tim so that Pikachu will massage his flippers. Psyduck is a cold-blooded killer.

Human Partners with Psyduck- The movie attempting to show the audience Pokemon and humans living in harmony is supposed to be through the connection between Tim and Pikachu. But the movie has so much trouble with character development of any sort that it never really develops that bond to something the audience can see well. The good thing about Lucy and Psyduck is that the audience is being shown a relationship that already exists. Because of that, the movie doesn’t need as much development to already show the audience that Lucy and Psyduck have a close bond. They are always together and seem to care for each other immensely. After the entire fiasco where humans take over their Pokemon during the parade, it is clear that Lucy is more concerned about Psyduck than herself. Afterwards she hugs Psyduck immediately and tells him that they should never do that again. Though it is a little odd that an easily stressed Psyduck ended up being partners with a journalist.

Hugging Psyduck- One of the cutest scenes in the movie is Psyduck’s determination to hug Pikachu at the end of it. Pikachu doesn’t seem to like it too much and I really can’t understand. Who wouldn’t want to hug Psyduck? I mean, unless he’s stressed.

Screaming Psyduck- My favorite scene in the movie occurred when they were all escaping the government lab, purely because of Psyduck. I have watched that scene at least twice since I saw the movie last night, just to hear Psyduck’s muffled “Psyduck” before they run out of the facility and then the repeated screams of “Psyduck” as they’re all running away. It’s the funniest scene in the movie, and I will once again not be accepting any criticism at this time.

No Psyduck:

Dad Friends with Psyduck- If you haven’t seen the movie, I’m about to reveal the biggest plot twist in it. You have been warned. When Tim is introduced to Pikachu it’s because Tim is looking for his father and Pikachu is his father’s Pokemon partner. Tim’s father is presumed dead after getting too involved in an investigation and then being involved in a violent car crash. The end of the movie reveals that his father’s Pikachu gave his body for a short time so that the father could survive the car crash. So the father is Ryan Reynolds and detective Pikachu is actually Tim’s father. This has to be one of the weirdest plot twists I’ve seen in a while and not in a good way. The fact that Pikachu was not actually Pikachu for all of this movie was kind of disturbing in itself without the knowledge that he’s also Tim’s dad. Psyduck deserves a Pokemon friend, not just Tim’s dad.

No More Psyduck- The main villain’s motive in this movie is to merge his brain with a Pokemon so that he can walk, because he is paralyzed in his current human state. And this itself as a motive would have been understandable. Still weird, because I find the entire human and Pokemon merging storyline to be disturbing, but still understandable. But it goes beyond that. Instead of treating this new development as a way to cure all human ills, the villain just makes a broad statement about how all humans would be better off as Pokemon. Even though there’s really nothing that leads up to this statement in the story or makes it make any sense. And let’s be honest, Psyduck is far too cute to have his mind overtaken by a human.

No Character Development Except Psyduck- Not one character is focused on over the course of this movie. Tim only gets about one emotional scene throughout it and he’s the main character. The movie really didn’t know if it wanted to focus on the characters or the Pokemon references or their weird convoluted plot, so it didn’t have enough time for any of that. There’s supposed to be a romance between Tim and Lucy that completely gets lost in the plot. There’s barely anything that leads up to Tim declaring that he’s attracted to Lucy. And all of this is even worse when you look at the connection between Tim and Pikachu. Yes Pikachu is cute, but I would have liked to spend a little less time on the cute quips and a little more time on bonding between the two characters. There’s also a character in power that saves the day at the end of the story in a deus ex machina type of way, but he only speaks about one sentence in one scene before he saves everyone. He’s barely even a character. Psyduck feels more developed and all he ever says is his own name. I think Psyduck should have saved everyone at the end, just like he saved this movie.

Long story short, I like Psyduck now. He is truly a superior Pokemon and the source of most of my enjoyment watching this movie. I don’t necessarily recommend this movie as a whole, but I do absolutely recommend Psyduck compilations on Youtube. PSYDUCK!!! (No, I am not ok.)

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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