Well, it happened. Forty-seven years after the first commercially successful video game (Pong), we finally have an actually good video game movie.
Sure, plenty of people love the campy violence of the Resident Evil franchise. And many will gladly rewatch the first Mortal Kombat movie for nostalgic value. And there’s no shortage of gamers who will watch the cinematic train wreck that is Super Mario Bros. for sheer ironic joy.
But last week’s release of Pokémon Detective Pikachu, with its 63% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and 85% audience rating, seems to have given the world the highest-regarded movie based on a video game. Most Pokémon and video game fans are raving about the movie, and well-respected critics are comparing it to Chinatown and Blade Runner. Even if you came away from it disappointed, you have to agree that Pokémon Detective Pikachu is, critically, the greatest crossover movie based on of a video game so far. It could be only a blip on the radar of video game fandom, but it also could mean that we are officially entering a golden age of video game movies.