‘Pokémon Detective Pikachu’: An Endearing Story Without Unnecessarily Depending in Cuteness of Characters or Its Lead Star’s Charm

'Pokémon Detective Pikachu' finishes with a gentle and tender heart, keeping the story first and foremost over the dazzle and shine of the cute characters it has in its film.

Everything about the trailer of ‘Pokémon Detective Pikachu’ made me skeptical. I saw the first season of the anime show back in the late 90s and even played the collectible card game 20 years ago but, at the time, there were very little other players that I remember giving it away or selling my set. I haven’t kept up to date with the Pokemon phenomenon when it found its resurgence recently. I know it became popular again with the new generation but I just never got back into it.

I thought a live action movie would be an interesting idea but seeing the trailer and giving Pikachu a voice — Ryan Reynold’s voice, above all — just didn’t sit right with me. It felt like it was capitalizing on Reynold’s Deadpool character to add a larger audience base that it felt like it was going to be less of a Pokemon movie and more of a Ryan Reynolds’ movie.

So I came in with hesitation. Was I going to be watching a film about Pokemons or was I going to be watching just another vehicle for Ryan Reynolds to offer up his brand of irreverent humor in just another franchise?

I was more than pleasantly surprised that ‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’ offered up a generous heaping of both. I was reluctant over the “great detective” moniker that Pikachu gives himself in the trailer. But the narrative seems to lend itself well to this rather crazy story about an industrialist, corporate magnate who creates a city where Pokemon and humans live side-by-side and a young man, Tim Goodman, who must partner up with Pikachu to investigate the death of Tim Goodman’s father.

‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’ plays as a light, comedic noir story — complete with all the noir elements of suspicious characters, gathering clues to solve a mystery, and a complex internal struggle — and then shifts modes into a sci-fi/fantasy adventure in its latter half when the big puzzle is uncovered.


And while Ryan Reynolds is great at bringing Pikachu to life and giving him a personality — albeit, Ryan Reynolds’ personality, the film’s story was tailor-made for him — it is Justice Smith’s Tim Goodman that really serves as an anchor for the story. Smith captures your attention and he makes his complicated relationship with his father believable and gives an emotional core to ‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’ that is relatable and familiar.

The film gives equal weight to the journey of both Tim Goodman and Pikachu, which is a breath of fresh air, as other films might just completely lean too hard on Ryan Reynolds. The movie is unafraid to share the weight of the film’s narrative with both of its leads and that’s what keeps it from becoming the Ryan Reynolds show.

And there’s a great, huge serving of Pokemon as well, which is a marvel of CGI animation. Each Pokemon have their own distinct quirks and personalities that the movie is never boring but it doesn’t linger too long in the cuteness of its characters, it seems committed to telling this story and it succeeds to delivering an enjoyable time because of this.

Juggling between noir, comedy, and scifi/fantasy adventure means that the film can’t fully embrace any one genre for its full effect but it delivers the thrills and the spills, the laughs and the action. At the end of it all, there is a wonderful story about a young man in search of his father, who he has a strained relationship with, and an amnesiac Pokemon, who is trying to find his place in this big mystery.

It has an uncomfortably huge climax sequence — at times, it feels unnecessarily big and that it feels that it is bombastic just for the effect of it — but it finishes with a gentle and tender heart, keeping the story first and foremost over the dazzle and shine of the cute characters it has in its film.

My Rating:

 

Pokémon Detective Pikachu’ opens in cinemas nationwide on Thursday, May 9, 2019. Book your tickets in advance through ClickTheCity!

Related Content

Movie Info

Pokemon Detective Pikachu
Animation | Family | Fantasy

Articles

'Pokémon: Detective Pikachu' Earns an Impressive P56.7-M PH Box Office Haul in 4 Days
The first-ever, live-action Pokémon adventure film scored big at the box office this weekend, and is now hailed as the best video game movie opening!
Justice Smith's Tim Goodman and Detective Pikachu Team Up To Find Missing Dad
After starring in 2017's 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom', Justice Smith return to the big screen in 'POKEMON Detective Pikachu', a film based on the popular and beloved Pokemon brand.
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, and Kathryn Newton Invites Filipinos to Catch “POKEMON Detective Pikachu”
Kumusta, Philippines! Here are the cast of the upcoming Detective Pikachu saying hello to their Pinoy fans!
'Detective Pikachu' Sees Pikachu and the Other Pokémon Creatures with Battle-Ready Powers
The film also features both humans and Pokemon co-existing harmoniously in one world.
WATCH: This Latest 'POKÉMON Detective Pikachu' TV Spot Reveals New Footage
The first-ever live-action Pokémon adventure opens in cinemas this May 9, and just dropped never-before-seen footage in this new spot called 'Big.' Watch it now!
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds Lends His Voice To Pikachu in 'Pokémon: Detective Pikachu'
Pokémon fans, a live-action film based on the Pokémon series is coming your way soon! And just today, Warner Bros. Pictures has released the first trailer to Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, set to open in May 2019! 
"POKEMON Detective Pikachu" Movie Reveals Official Title Logo
The stars also engaged the room full of the world’s best Pokémon players in a chant of “Pikachu!” which was recorded for use in the upcoming film.
0

Share this story

Editor's Picks

Recent Posts

More on ClickTheCity