Synopsis For Detective Pikachu: Tim Goodman’s (Justice Smith) life changes forever when he meets a caffeine addicted Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) who claims that his father is still alive.
When I first heard that Pokémon would get the live-action treatment, I was not a happy camper. But then, on November 12th, 2018 the trailer for Detective Pikachu was released and this movie skyrocketed to the top of my most anticipated movies for the year 2019. Flash-forward to today, and I’m writing this review at my computer with a big grin on my face.
My dad often says that there are two types of movies. The first category are those movies that are made via conveyer belt while the second category are those made by people that pour their hearts and soul into the project. Detective Pikachu is without a doubt one of the latter. The attention to detail is outstanding. From the fur on our yellow wisecracker to the scales covering fan-favorite pocket monster Charizard, each Pokémon looks like it could exist in the real world while being true to their original design.
While it does help a viewer’s enjoyment of the movie to be a fan of the franchise, don’t be discouraged to watch it and going in blind if the trailers interest you. Just like one can enjoy the live action/animation hybrid classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit? without knowing the cartoon characters that are involved, Detective Pikachu, with its colorful monsters and rich world are a pleasure to watch. It is a movie worth re-watching just for the small details you might have missed.
Detective Pikachu contains laughter for both kids and adults, though some jokes will fly over children’s heads (but that is to be expected when your star is Deadpool himself). The banter between Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith works as perfect as peanut butter and jelly. Reynolds’ performance is so realistic that you may sometimes wonder if Ryan is taking a cue from Andy Serkis with the motion capture. It is also important to point out that Justice Smith shows that he is a solid actor considering his main co-star isn’t there.
The only real negative with this movie is the villain. The villain fits within the context of the story and you understand the character’s reasoning. But I would have liked themr to be more fleshed out.
Despite Warner Bros’ recent penchant to try and darken their properties and age them up, I’m happy to report that Detective Pikachu knows and honors its core audience. This is not a movie that tries to be a family friendly version of The Dark Knight or Chinatown, nor does it need to. It is a detective tale that is fitting for all ages that gives you an entertaining mystery, charming characters and a world filled with wonders. If you need a palate cleanser after the emotional turmoil that is Avengers: Endgame, Detective Pikachu is, without a doubt, the best option out there.