Verdict: Ryan Reynolds’ charm is unrivaled even in the form of a fluffy Pikachu.
Pokémon needs no introduction. As the biggest media franchise in the world, it had pretty much every corner covered from trading cards to merchandise except a live-action film and that’s officially been crossed off the list. Director Rob Letterman has brought to life a film that started with a video game and it’s possibly the best video game adaptation to come out of Hollywood yet.
What’s Pokémon Detective Pikachu About:
Set in Ryme City, a place where Pokémon and humans live side by side in harmony, the film follows a young man named Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) who finds out that he can mysteriously understand what a hat-wearing Pikachu is saying when others only hear “Pika pika”. Detective Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) has no memory and the only clue he has is the name and address of Tim’s father, Harry, inside of his hat. The only problem? Harry Goodman is missing. The two of them team up and get help from a budding investigative reporter, Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton), who will help them uncover something that threatens the world as they know it.
Detective Pikachu is undeniably the star of the movie and it’s hard to imagine anyone who could have voiced him better than Ryan Reynolds. His witty one-liners are delivered perfectly and anytime he’s not on the screen, you’ll be eagerly looking forward to whenever you see him next.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu is consistently funny, but it also has a lot of heartfelt moments. You don’t even need to be familiar with Pokémon to become invested in the lives of these characters. Justice Smith is excellent as Tim, a boy who had grown distant from his father long before he went missing. He’s a bit of a loner and doesn’t want to do much with Pokémon, but Detective Pikachu comes along and zaps his way across the wall that Tim had built. Tim’s dynamic with Detective Pikachu develops through the film and builds a central theme that’s about friendship and working together – something the Pokémon franchise has always been about. Kathryn Newton as Lucy provides a contrast to Tim, showing us what a “normal” person who’s paired up with a Pokémon partner.
But Pokémon Detective Pikachu is more than just another family-friendly adventure film. Pokémon Detective Pikachu takes a franchise of animated creatures that millions of people worldwide have been obsessed with and turns it into a world that’s incredibly realistic. Pokémon fans will be delighted in Ryme City where herds of Aipom roam the neon-lit streets like stray dogs and Loudreds are found next to Diplo. It’s everything you could have expected and more.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Pokémon Detective Pikachu is an excellent Pokémon film, but a few of the human characters seem underdeveloped.
Why You Should Watch:
If you enjoy Ryan Reynolds’ signature humor, Pokémon Detective Pikachu offers plenty of it. Whether or not you can name Pokémon isn’t a requirement to enjoy the film. It is an entertaining watch that has something for all ages.