Ahead of its release in theaters this week, a pirated copy of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu appeared to circulate on social media Wednesday. Except that said bootlegged “Full Movie,” which opens with what appears to be actual footage stamped with a R. Reynolds watermark, was really just a feature-length letterbox video of Pikachu doing aerobics. That does help explain why a link to the video was retweeted, in a seeming blunder, by Ryan Reynolds, who in the upcoming release has the grand honor of voicing the fuzzy yellow creature.
Detective Pikachu’s marketing campaign has been full of similar self-own spoofs on Reynolds’ part, like his parody “Inside the Actors Studio” video in which he chronicled his method-acting process for the coveted role of Pikachu: “I read about him. I live at his height. I tried to lose 182 pounds to match his weight, until doctors intervened.” Blake Lively even got involved, showing up in the spoof documentary as the wife unamused by her husband’s antics.
As was noted on Twitter, Pikachu’s workout routine in the sham movie mirrors one that appeared in an old Key & Peele sketch—which was itself modeled upon a real, quintessentially ’80s aerobics video. This is cinematic pastiche at its very finest, folks. Who needs poignant live-action movie trailers—or for that matter, exercise classes—when you can spend an hour accompanied by an adorable, dancing Detective Pikachu?