In my younger years I couldn’t get enough of the
Phoenix Wright video games. I played through and beat them all in a
week, and once I was done I started again.
Upon the announcement of a movie based on the first
(and the best) game in the series, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, I was
torn. Sure I was excited at the prospect of a film based on one of my
favourite games, but that being said it would be a video game adaptation
and we all know how they usually end up.
Thankfully for the most part Ace Attorney gets
Directed by Takashi Miike and starring the who’s who
of Japanese film, this is a film that honours its source material in
nearly every single way. The humour, the great characters and the
mystery from the original game has all been transferred to the big
screen making for some of the most entertaining viewing this year.
For those not familiar with the franchise, Phoenix
Wright is an amateur defense attorney who’s low on confidence but can
still come home with the goods. After beating one of his childhood
rivals, Miles Edgeworth in a murder case, Wright’s newly found fame as a
star attorney is quickly put to the test as Edgeworth is charged with
murder, and becoming his lawyer.
Courtroom dramas have never been the most
entertaining spectacles in movies but Ace Attorney sure makes a
name for itself in that department. This is a classic example of
Japanese comedy, with over the top movements, voices and visual flare
throughout the film. Wright’s friend Larry Butz is as funny and wacky as
he was in the game.
Just like the game it’s based off Ace Attorney
becomes a little longwinded towards the end. This is a long film,
clocking in at over two hours with the final third being an extremely
dark conclusion to an otherwise colourful piece of film.
Kotaku says Ace Attorney is the “best video
game movie ever” and they’re not wrong. It’s not an entirely perfect
film with some pacing issues and sudden shifts in tone, but it is still
a genuinely funny and entertaining piece that deserves praise for
keeping true to its source material. As a fan I am very pleased with
what Miike has managed to create and here’s hoping for a sequel in the