POKÉMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU review by Patrick Hendrickson – Ryan Reynolds voices a furry phenom

POKÉMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU review by Patrick Hendrickson – Ryan Reynolds voices a furry phenom

POKÉMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU is an absolutely delightful adaptation of the well-beloved phenomenon of Pokemon. This particular interpretation takes the form of a comedic caper set in a vast city with a dark underbelly. Tim Cooke (Justice Smith) gets a call that his father, a detective, has gone missing and is seemingly deceased, and so he heads off to the metropolitan Ryme City to learn more. After meeting up with an old friend of his dad’s, Tim heads to the apartment owned by his father. It is there that he meets the second star of this film.

Ryan Reynolds plays… well, Ryan Reynolds, in the form of the titular mascot of the Pokemon franchise. The only catch is, this particular Pikachu is able to speak whereas all other pokemon are unable to do so. Tim is reasonably confused, and hostile at first, by Detective Pikachu’s ability to talk as well as Pikachu’s connection to his father’s disappearance. Is Reynolds’ performance enjoyable? Yes. Is the performance the same as any other Ryan Reynolds performance? Big yes.

Soon after they meet, they are waylaid by a gang of angry pokemon who had been exposed to a strange compound simply titled R. The duo set out to discover the origin of this compound and to find out just what’s happened to Tim’s father. This leads them to teaming up with an excitable would-be journalist by the name of Lucy (Kathryn Newton) and her partner Psyduck. The four of them make a likeable team and not a single one of them is a weak link in the chain. Detective Pikachu’s quick-talking persona meshes well with Tim’s utter confusion about everything going on around him. Lucy and Psyduck add to this dynamic but showing a more typical trainer-pokemon relationship.

The investigation leads to a stint in an underground fight ring, as well as to the door of Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy), who crafted Ryme City from its inception. This film is not TOO much of a caper and few of the twists end up being fairly predictable, but this does not take away too much from the experience as a whole. The plot is suitable enough for what this production is attempting, but there is not much to be surprised at. There is some heartwarming content sure, but this comes more from the relationships and dynamics of the characters and not so much from the actual events of the story.

The visuals of this production are top-notch. These video game monsters really are brought to life and portrayed in a way that makes them feel completely natural and realistic. The animals are completely at home in this environment and never at any point does there feel like any disconnect between what is computer generated and what is real. I cannot imagine a more faithful and delightful adaptation of the Pokemon franchise. Fans of Pokemon are going to love this film no matter if they grew up with the earlier material or if they are younger viewers who are in the process of growing up with Pokemon. I cannot comment on how well this production serves as an introduction to Pokemon, but I will say that I could imagine any newcomers getting lost pretty quickly. This is a love-letter to Pokemon fans that will be mostly confusing to the uninitiated.

The wonderful chemistry of Reynolds and Smith, mixed in with a delightful adaptation of a beloved franchise earns this film a 4/5. The downside would be the relatively standard plot which, while not unentertaining, does not have very many impactful moments. However, in many ways this production is not so much about the story it’s telling.


Be Sociable, Share!

About the Author