The announcement of a live-action Pokémon movie was met with just as much eye rolling as fan excitement. Then came word Ryan Reynolds would be voicing its most popular character — Pikachu, of course — titled Pokémon Detective Pikachu and interest grew. Finally, the first trailer dropped and even non-fans exclaimed in excitement Warner Bros. may have managed to make it good. After having seen the movie, I still barely know the difference between a Bulbasaur to a Psyduck. But rest assured, director/co-writer Rob Letterman keeps the jokes/mystery moving along to ensure everyone has a good time.
Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) has just arrived in Ryme City to investigate his father death. Along with the help of journalist Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton), and amnesiac Pikachu, they set out to close the case. What they soon discover is that Tim’s father was onto something bigger than they ever imagined involving a serum that turns the cute and loveable Pokémon lethal.
Letterman (Goosebumps, Gulliver’s Travels, Monsters vs. Aliens, Shark Tale) — along with a slew of writers and story credits — have crafted a great fan service film. Centering the plot in the noir genre is a fantastic way to keep the adults invested while the youngsters in the audience salivate over seeing their favorite characters come to life. And just look at Pikachu himself. Who wouldn’t want him to come to life? He’s one of the most adorable critter creations since Gizmo.
Yes, the surprise/life lesson at the end of the movie is super obvious — if you think about it for two seconds that is. But if you just sit back and bask in the genre love, there’s plenty to enjoy. And of course Reynolds is even more hilarious in the film than the trailers — some of the jokes will fly over kids heads, but it’s amazing what made it past the MPAA. Pokemon Detective Pikachu may not have had the power to convert me — I have absolutely no intention of ever playing Pokemon Go! — but if Warner Bros. continues to keep making the films this enjoyable, then I’m completely onboard.