Let's find out.
Okay, so...we watched the movie last Saturday...and...the visuals were certainly quite stunning. There were a lot of things we liked about it, and a lot of things we didn't like so much. The first thing I really liked was the costumes. Edgeworth's suit was made of velvet. Velvet! His hair could have been better (as has been demonstrated by Sexy Edgeworth Cosplayer 2009), but other than that, very good. Everybody else looked great, too. They gave Larry a kind of spiky mohawk, which he didn't seem to have in the games, but it worked for the character.
The actor who played Larry was awesome, too. Really energetic and crazy just like the guy in the game. As for all the characters...well, we didn't really get to meet any of them other than Phoenix, but they seemed pretty in-character for the most part. Lotta's hair was bigger than in the games, but that just makes it better. Maya was a lot more serious in the movie than she tended to be in the games, but they didn't really give her opportunity to be otherwise.
Anyway, the main problem we had with it, as hinted earlier, is that they didn't really have a lot of the character interaction that makes Ace Attorney so much fun. There was too much time spent on showing us their stunning visuals (when they first brought out the super futuristic evidence displaying technology, Athena even thought, "Wow, it's like Transformers. But this is Ace Attorney; it'll be good." I will admit, I like this movie better than Transformers.) or having Phoenix be at a loss for how to proceed in the trial. We thought they should have had him asking more stupid questions, which he easily could have done while he was stalling for time, searching desperately through his notes, which he did quite frequently.
They changed some of the story elements, which makes sense, because there's a lot of material in the first game to fit in one movie. There were a bunch of changes that we were okay with--like how they did Larry's trial. They just didn't have time to explain the whole thing about the clock. And besides, the way they did Larry's trial was pretty awesome (at the end, they had the cleaning ladies pull out confetti and throw it at him). But they changed some elements of DL-6 so that it wasn't as solid a story.
There wasn't really enough time to get attached to anyone, except Phoenix, and maybe Yanni Yogi. They went into his story a lot more deeply than they did in the games, which is cool, but would have been cooler if they had given us more time with the other characters, too, and not changed DL-6.
We think that maybe they should have focused on the investigations more than the courtroom scenes. The trials are what make the games really fun, but in the context of a movie, the investigations are what really move the story along. And the courtroom scenes didn't have nearly as much of the awesome back-and-forth battle-type debates that were so great in the games anyway.
In short, it wasn't a terrible movie, but it lacked a lot of the heart that the games had. And so it makes us a little sad. But the scenes with Larry inflating his giant Steel Samurai and Jammin' Ninja balloons were great. Oh! And the way they did the whole Gourdy thing was pretty great, too.
There was one gag that I find very difficult to forgive, though. They had Edgeworth rocking out on Jammin' Ninja's guitar as a little epilogue thing so we could see Matt Engarde. But Edgeworth is a loyal Steel Samurai fan, and they said in the games that there's a rivalry thing going on. It's like Star Wars and Star Trek. Sigh.
Today I'm thankful for getting a fair amount of work done despite only working a half day, having fancy chocolate-dipped waffle thingies to try from Fresh & Easy, the way Edgeworth snapped his fingers in the Ace Attorney movie, finding out that Tiger & Bunny the Live will have a DVD release, and having plans to play some Neo Romance games tonight.