Movie review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2012)

Phoenix Wright. The game, right? That game with the murder cases you have to solve AND present to court AND defend the suspect. You also get to shout “OBJECTION!” into the microphone if you want. It’s the only Nintendo DS game I finished several times. I love it to bits. It’s exactly my type of game.

But a movie? Based on a game that relies so heavily on your own thinking and reasoning skills? I was not so sure.

So when I came across it semi legally, I was a bit dubious at first. Sure, it stars one of my favourite actors (Hiroki Narimiya) in the leading role of one of my favourite games. But even just the pictures and gifs I had seen of it looked so ridiculous I wasn’t sure.

And ridiculous it was. Oh dear. It’s been ages since I’ve seen a movie this ridiculous.

It starts with the look of the movie. The costumes, the silly hair, all of it seems to be copied almost directly from the games. They seemed to have put a lot of effort in making everything look exactly like it did in the game.

The evidence showing in the courtroom, took a bit more effort. In the game it shows up on your screen, but this is rather impossible to do in the movie without losing continuity. They solved it by CGI-ing in a huge machine that comes down from the ceiling and that projects holograms that can, conveniently, be thrown around to almost literally smack people in the face with evidence. I loved it.

The story was a bit hard to follow at times, but with enough turns and twists to really be on the level of the games. There’s also the downside though: as you don’t have to think along to make the story move forward, it can be difficult to keep up with everything that’s going on.

Still, with such brilliant moments as Phoenix interrogating a parrot, everyone in the courtroom literally falling over whenever Phoenix says something stupid again, and Edgeworth rolling his eyes in a “why is this idiot helping me again” move, it was definitely a very entertaining movie,

I do recommend the movie, but mostly if you already love the game to begin with. I think the silliness is hard to overcome if you’re not already used to how silly the game gets and have learned to appreciate the strange, typical humor.

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One Response to Movie review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2012)

  1. Good post. Yeah, curiosity led me to watching the movie too – it was certainly entertaining. I think it’d have worked even better as an anime, though.

    ‘Dual Destinies’ looks really cool – might even have to get a 3DS for just to play it.

    I recently reviewed the first game for my blog. Please check it out if you have time.

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