FILM: Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019, Rob Letterman)

Pokémon Detective Pikachu teaser poster.jpg

Fantasy-mystery Pokémon Detective Pikachu is distributed by Warner Bros., and is the Pokémon franchise’s first foray into live-action filmmaking. Tim Goodman’s (Justice Smith) father goes missing, but the Ryme City Police Department (whom his father works for) assume him to be dead. Tim, however, finds evidence that this cannot be the case, so teams up with his father’s partner Pokémon – a talking, coffee-addicted Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) – and journalist Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) to get to the bottom of it all.

PROS

  • A fun narrative with an enjoyable sense of mystery, which will appease Pokémon fans due to the sheer number of Easter Eggs for the wider franchise and Easter Eggs for Generation I.
  • Good production design and visual effects, which gives a good sense of scale to the film’s setting and real texture to the fury Pokémon – CGI creations with which the cast interact with very well.
  • Pikachu is a very engaging and quite complex titular character, to whom Ryan Reynolds brings a well-realised and passionate voice performance.

CONS

  • The slightly rushed narrative is at times a little predictable, with some quite ham-fisted dialogue scattered throughout and human characters (despite some decent performances) who are simply not memorable at all.
  • The Pokémon which do not have fur lack the sense of authenticity of the Pokémon which do, and feel rather out of place in an otherwise visually well-created setting.

VERDICT: 6/10

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