Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton
Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures/The Pokémon Company
In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.
Let me start by saying I haven’t played the game so their won’t be any comparisons . My niece has played some of it and says the story is different anyways. I’m going to attempt to keep all my random side notes contained to the end of the review in an attempt to keep it focused.
For Free Comic Book Day I went to West Orange Comics and Games, while there I talked about the Sonic movie trailer (side note 1) and Scott suggested that I review that movie when it comes out. I decided since I was going to see this movie with my nieces and nephew anyways I might as well review it since it’s video game related.
The Movie starts with lab scene practically out of the Pokemon the First Movie complete with Mewtwo escape and all (that’s not a spoiler, Mewtwo was in the trailer). We then cut to our human protagonist Tim (Justice Smith) and his friend Jack (Karan Soni) out hunting a wild Pokemon. Tim attempts to catch a Cubone and fails. As they get back into town Tim has cell service again and a bunch of voicemails from the Ryme City PD about an accident involving his father so he boards a train and heads to the city.
On the train we get an exposition dump explaining that the city was founded to allow people and pokemon to live together and as such pokemon battles and even Pokeballs are outlawed in the city. Instead of having a team of Pokemon most people just have a single partner Pokemon with them (side note 2). Tim meets with Lieutenant Yoshida (Ken Watanabe), Yoshida explains the situation and asks Tim if he has a partner. Tim goes to his fathers apartment and meets a young reporter named Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) and her partner Psyduck in the lobby because as she puts it, she smells a story. She’s trying to get her big break because she admits she’s just an intern writing for the blog section of GNM making Buzzfeed style listiticles like the top ten cutest Pokemon, which she says is ridicules because they’re all cute. Tim makes it into his fathers apartment (side note 3) where he ends up meeting the leading Pokemon Detective Pikachu.
The movie is roughly set in 2018, they make reference to an incident in the Kanto region 20 years prior and the original Red and Blue were released in North America in 1998. They had at least one Pokemon from each region shown in the movie so every generation was represented except the seventh since those games aren’t out yet unless they had one in the background that I didn’t notice.
Unlike other movies that try and go for a “real world” this movie just accepts that Pokemon live in this world and expects the audience to just accept it as well so they don’t waste any time with needless back story about aliens or inter-dimension travel (side note 4). The Pokemon themselves look really good and fit with a real world setting. Some times the quality dipped, but that could of just been my eyes playing tricks on me from where I was sitting and Yoshida’s Snubull seemed huge in some shots but that might of just been it’s relation to the camera being different.
The plot is good and I’ll admit I didn’t see the twists coming. When I watch a movie I tend to watch it in the moment so it’s easier for twists to get me, so someone actively thinking bout it can probably see where the movie is going.
Bottom line, the movie is good and if you’re into Pokemon or have kids into Pokemon I’d recommend it.
Side note 1: Speaking of the Sonic movie, my 12 year old niece says Sonic’s design scares her.
Side note 2: That kind of reminds me of the Pokemon Ranger games where instead of having Pokemon you just had one partner with you.
Side note 3: Angels with Filthy Souls is playing on the TV, which my 7 yr old nephew correctly pointed out that’s from Home Alone, which makes me wonder how many times he’s seen that movie.
Side note 4: While both those concepts are in the Pokemon games they only relate to certain Pokemon and not Pokemon as a whole.
Who's that pokemon?