While looking for answers to what happened to his dad, a boy
comes across an intelligent Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
Directed by Rob Letterman
Written by Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Rob Letterman,
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton,
Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe, Chris Geere
Based on characters created by Atsuko Nishida
I can still remember being a kid and excitedly watching the original Pokemon cartoon. The theme song, characters, and of course, the Pokemon. While I never continued watching the multiple spin-offs and animated movies that have come out over the years, I’m fully aware of the lasting appeal this franchise has on society. Even with my childhood nostalgia, I was initially skeptical when they first announced this movie. And that Ryan Reynolds would be voicing beloved character, Pikachu. I love Reynolds, but it felt weird at first knowing he was going to be the voice. The trailers, though, quickly turned me around. They promised a fun movie that seemed to honor the fans of this franchise. As for the film itself, well, let’s talk about it.
For the most part, this movie works extremely well. Ryan Reynolds is perfect voicing Pikachu. His signature humor is intact, albeit a bit tamer due to the PG rating. He does good with the material, nonetheless. Also good is Justice Smith as our main human character. He shares great chemistry with Reynolds, and they are both a joy to watch. The other thing that works very well are the Pokemon themselves. You can tell this movie was a labor of love by these creatures alone. They are brought to wonderful life and fill the frame throughout the entire movie. Seriously, I could go on about the Pokemon alone. Where the film doesn’t quite land for me is the story. The story is serviceable, and it works, but there’s not many moments that really stuck with me. Again, it works, but it comes in second to the Pokemon.
For the most part, Detective Pikachu is a fun movie which shows absolute respect to the fans and Pokemon. Reynolds proves to be a great choice for the franchise’s most beloved character. And the screen is filled with the title characters themselves. While I personally wish the story had been just a tad bit better, this is still one of the best Pokemon movies we’ve gotten. If you’re a fan of this franchise or have kids who could use the introduction, can’t hurt showing them this movie.