For those who’ve lived in a cave until now, Pokémon is one of the biggest multimedia franchises ever. My brother has played their games, though I’ve had my experience with the franchise I’ve watch five VHS tapes of the original show and the first movie at my Grandma’s. Pokémon Detective Pikachu is technically not the first Pokémon movie but it is the first live-action movie.
Ryan Reynolds is really good as Pikachu mostly because he puts the same effort and energy into this role as he did with Deadpool. Pikachu’s partner Tim Goodman played by Justice Smith does a good emotional performance and even feels like the perfect foil for Ash Ketchum. I also enjoyed Lucy Stevens played by Kathryn Newton and her determination to get the big scoop. All three of these characters have great interactions between each other. Spoilers: The villain is pretty obvious right from the start, heck there’s literally a scene where Pikachu and Tim meet him and he comes out of the shadow as if he was a bad guy. He also tells them that his son might be the culprit so obviously it’s not him. Howard’s plan about combining humans and Pokémon together seems a bit ridiculous.
The movie takes place in Rhyme City which is a city with no battles or poke balls and humans and Pokémon live together in harmony. For a world all about battles this is a very creative setting with all the Pokémon all over living their lives and having jobs, its good world building. It’s kind of the same idea as Zootopia with the whole living in harmony thing. I will admit that I feel like the lighting of the movie seemed a bit too dark for something as colorful as Pokémon. Henry Jackman’s score helps make Rhyme City feel immersive. Most action movies nowadays have your typical epic action music (not saying that it’s bad music). Here however the music has sort of a sci-fi/synth type of music. It really sounds amazing especially the theme song of Rhyme City.
Extra points for Ken Sugimori’s excellent drawings of the characters in the end credits. My brother and I saw this on our last day of our California trip in San Deigo and it really was a great way to end the trip. This could have been another crappy cash grab video game movie but it surprisingly balanced both characters, story, world building, and fan service wonderfully. Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a fun movie whether you’re a Pokéfan or not.
+ Henry Jackman’s score
+ Rhyme City
+ Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu
+ Tim and Lucy
– Dark lighting
– Obvious villain and his plan