I’ve never really been into Pokémon. I understand the appeal and I enjoy and respect the franchise, but it’s not really my cup of tea. Going into “Pokémon Detective Pikachu”, my hopes weren’t necessarily high. But I’m happy to say, I really enjoyed myself a lot more than I thought I would.
“Pokémon Detective Pikachu” follows Tim Goodman, played by Justice Smith, and his father’s Pokémon partner, Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, as they try to uncover the disappearance of Goodman’s father. Along the way, a conspiracy is revealed which allows for a ton of Pokémon madness to ensue.
The story was actually pretty intriguing and since it is a mystery, the story takes a handful of twists and turns that are actually very clever. With that said, a lot of the story and reveals are unveiled with these holograms and it feels like the writers don’t trust the audience enough for them to figure the story out themselves, so they just tell you what’s up. But the story is fun enough that it isn’t really a deal breaker.
Something I never really cover on these reviews is visuals. The visuals were done very well. At first, when the trailers and photos were released, I felt a bit apprehensive with how the Pokémon would look, but they’re actually done well. The Pokémon are within the realm of reality, but you can still say,”Oh that’s Bulbasaur” or “That’s Eevee”. Also, it helps that most of the smaller Pokémon are out-of-this-world cute.
And the actors behind the Pokémon are really good. A stand out was Reynolds as Pikachu. Reynolds’s comedic timing and general persona bleed out and you just can’t help but fall into his character and have fun with Pikachu.
Smith is pretty good as well. He has great comedic timing and this plays very well with Reynolds’s funny quips. But where he lacks is in the emotional scenes. Smith fell a bit flat in showing his grief with his past, and in a scene where one of his friends is hurt, he didn’t really nail the landing.
That pretty much ends it for praise on the human characters. Most of the humans in this movie are really cartoony and at time very cringe worthy. An example of this is Kathryn Newton’s character. She was an exaggeration of a journalistic reporter that just came off as annoying.
This movie was very fun, but you shouldn’t really go into it wanting a deep message on life. Considering the source material, it’s not meant to be Shakespeare, and the movie honors that. This movie is simply a love letter or fan service to the Pokémon community and it shines as that.
If you love just kicking your feet back and having fun with a movie, this movie is for you. If you’re a huge fan of the Pokémon franchise, this is perfect for you. And if you’re looking for a good video game movie, after so long of not having one, this movie fulfills that itch. I feel anyone who enjoys movies will find something to love about this movie.