Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Review

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

Hollywood has been trying to adapt video games into films for years. Unfortunately, the video game adaptations haven’t had the best of luck. We’ve had several filmmakers and prolific actors try to reverse the curse, but the results always end up the same. Audiences have come to the realization that any film based on video games won’t be any good. So after multiple flops, gamers wonder if we’ll ever get a great video game adaptation. Is Pokémon: Detective Pikachu the film that’ll reverse the video game curse?

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu isn’t a great film by regular standards. Yet by video game film standards, it’s one of the best video game adaptations ever made. The film has its fair share of issues but it’s still a lot of fun.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu follows Tim Goodman, the son of an ace detective who disappears under mysterious circumstances. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, a Pikachu with a big mouth and a strong love for caffeine. Together they must figure out the mystery behind Harry’s disappearance.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu - Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith

Even though Pokémon: Detective Pikachu breaks the infamous “video game curse”, it’s not without its fair share of issues. Most of the film’s issues stem from the stale and needlessly complex storylines. There isn’t just one mystery that needs to be solved. No, there are several mysteries that come up throughout the film. As a result, the film goes all over the place. In addition, Detective Pikachu doesn’t deftly navigate through these storylines either. On the bright side, the storyline isn’t predictable at all. For a video game film, that’s pretty impressive. Just when you think you know how the story’s going to play out, it doesn’t quite turn out that way.

At the same time, there’s a good amount of character development between Tim and Pikachu. Although the relationship is disappointing at first, their friendship becomes more and more endearing as the characters develop. Their stories are also the most compelling to watch as well. Yes, that means that the more personal mysteries are more compelling than the main storyline.

It’s just a shame that the rest of the characters aren’t as interesting as Tim and Pikachu. It’s not a total surprise, but at the same time, you could care less about these supporting characters. Similarly, the villain is one-dimensional as well. Although the evil plan isn’t that predictable, that also doesn’t mean it’s good either. The evil plan is a little far-fetched, so you’re going to have to suspend your disbelief as the plan is finally unveiled.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu - Jigglypuff

Regardless, the film is still really, really fun. Much of that has to do with the one and only Ryan Reynolds. It’s true that it does take a bit to get used to Reynolds’ voice as Pikachu though. After some time, you’ll learn to love Reynolds’ voice as Pikachu. Reynolds just has so much fun with the character. One can expect Pikachu to be hilarious but it’s surprising to see that Reynolds also injects some heart in the character as well.

Justice Smith also brings heart and emotion to his role too. Not to mention, he also creates some great chemistry with his digital counterpart too. It’s not easy to act alongside something that isn’t there. So Smith does a great job getting audiences to care about the relationship between Tim and Pikachu.

Of course, the real attraction is seeing all these various Pokémon on screen in live-action for the very first time. As you can imagine, every single Pokémon is incredibly adorable and cute. Don’t worry about not seeing your favorite Pokémon too since a lot of fan-favorite Pokémon will make an appearance in this film. Needless to say, Detective Pikachu contains a lot of fan service. However, there are several instances where the CG Pokémon look off in some shots.

Overall, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is a fun live-action adventure within the Pokémon universe. However, the various story issues prevent this film from reaching greater heights. Be that as it may, the film is still one of the best video game films ever made. That’s not saying much but let’s hope it means that video game films are heading in the right direction. Now, when are we getting a live-action Pokémon film with Ash Ketchum?

Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1561 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.