Pokémon Detective Pikachu is the first live-action entry into the popular and long living video game franchise. The film was directed by Rob Letterman, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, and Derek Connolly.
When Tim Goodman finds out his absent father was killed in a car crash he attempts to uncover what really happened to his Dad, when he does he finds his father’s detective pokemon partner Pikachu who to his surprise can talk to him. The two go on a grand adventure to find out the truth behind Tim’s fathers death.
One of the biggest problems with the film is its cookie-cutter story. Although it was not obvious right away about who the antagonist was. The movie plays out like a typical cross and double crossed scenario where the person who you think it’s innocent and needs help to bring justice to the real antagonist turns out to be the antagonist the whole time.
Ryan Reynolds (Pikachu Voice) performance was amazing, he really brought the character to life while adding comedic tone to each scene without making Pikachu feel awkward. There were some moments where some of Pikachu’s jokes fell flat, but overall he was hilarious. Justice Smith (Tim Goodman) who was the lead character in the film had an “Ok” performance, there was genuinely nothing about his performance or his character that really stood out for me. It felt like he was only there to drive the story further and to interact with Pikachu.
For the most part, I felt like the characters particularly Tim was most relatable because he suffered from loss, he considered himself a loner, and he felt abandoned. I think most audiences can relate to that feeling the most and frankly thats kind of unfortunate. That bit of emotion gave a deep connection to Justice Smiths character.
One of the stand-out things about this film was the phenomenal attention to detail, particularly with the CGI Pokémon characters. Pikachu looked soft and made you believe he was real, and that you can interact with him. The other Pokémon characters were all lifelike versions of their cartoon counterparts. They were realistic enough to make them believable on screen, basically like seeing pets on screen. The Pokémon were like pets to people or wild life in the world.
The film was beautifully shot, taking in some of the beautiful landscapes of Colorado, England, and Scotland. These locations added to the already stunning visuals the movie had to offer.
With the basic straightforward plot, story wasn’t anything new or something people haven’t seen before besides the obvious. I knew from the very beginning where the story was going, but there was one moment where I wasn’t sure what was about to happen, and that made the movie more interesting.
For what it is Pokémon Detective Pikachu was fun to watch and a move in the right direction for the video game film franchise. The film has room for improvement, however, it has most definitely become the foundation for the franchise to develop.
I felt that the movie was brave and ambitious considering the kind of movie it was. I really enjoyed it from start to finish. I’m not that big of a Pokémon fan, however, I have played the video games for years and have seen the TV shows and movies, so I am familiar with the concepts of the film.
It’s definitely a movie you want to see if you are a fan of Pokémon, your kids will love it too.
Final Score: 8/10
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