Review of 'Pokémon: Detective Pikachu'

pokeman_detective_pikachu.jpg In the alternative Pokémon universe Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) has given up on being a Pokémon trainer following the death of his mother and moving away from his father, Harry. He is told his detective father has been killed in a car accident so travels to Ryme City, a peaceful city run by both humans and Pokémon, to sort out his father's apartment. Ryme City was founded by the wheelchair-bound Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy) who created the utopian city. Here he discovers his father's Pokémon partner: A deer-stalker wearing Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) who, for some reason, Tim is able to understand. Narrowly escaping a group of Aipom Pokémon who have inhaled the mysterious purple gas called “R” causing them to become enraged, Pikachu shares the belief that Harry survived the crash so the two go in search of what really happened, aided by aspiring reporter Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) and her cute, but explosive, Psyduck Pokémon.

I was not quite sure what to expect from this film which seems to be obviously aimed at children yet features a hugely amusing, wise-cracking Pikachu voiced by none other than Deadpool's foul-mouthed Ryan Reynolds complete with a few slightly risqué comments that I am surprised made it into the final cut. The film looks absolutely incredible as it seamlessly blends the amazing looking Pokémons into the live action along with some great looking special effects and surprisingly good action sequences. Modern London serves as an obvious stand-in for Ryme City which the filmmakers have incredibly transformed. The story has a few interesting twists that will keep you guessing up until the last 30 minutes or so though there are a few things that are easy to spot early on.

Even if you know nothing about the Pokémon world the film gently introduces you the salient points: Magical, generally non-speaking and friendly, creatures with special powers which can be tamed and battled with other Pokémon. Interestingly despite the cute creatures in the film there are some fairly serious subjects here including a child's estrangement from his father, and, well, death.

Entertaining, and fun live action Pokémon film featuring the quirky wise-cracking banter of Ryan Reynolds that will likely entertaining audiences of any age or, indeed, those that know nothing of the Pokémon world.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2023-12-26

Directed by: Rob Letterman

Studio: Warner Bros.

Year: 2019

Length: 104 minutes

Genre: Melodrama