It’s finally here, the movie to fix all video game movies! After the disastrous reveal of the Sonic The Hedgehog trailer which almost everyone disliked that wanted to have something good about the blue character, we almost forgot that there is still Detective Pikachu coming out. Is it good? Yes, definitely good! Let’s talk about about the ins and outs of the movie and why I had my troubles halfway through the story. Oh and… No spoilers!
The basic gist of it
What surprised me the most about the Pokemon movie is that it is not a Pokemon movie. Hear me out! The connection to everything is, of course, Pokemon and it’s one Sinnoh region in which this movie plays if I understood that correctly. BUT this movie is about Tim Goodman and his life turned around again after he learned his father died in a car accident long after he decided that he doesn’t want to return back to that life. It’s a tragedy that’s slowly worked through of a classic failed life that resigns in an insurance job far removed from Pokemon, partners and training them even. That is off of course until Tim receives the call that his dad died and that he needs to come to the city to sort things out, as Tim’s mother also died when he was a young teenager.
Tragedy at the door
Big oof right at the start of the movie. But as it goes on, of course, Tim visits his dad‘s place and meets Pikachu. And you know, the audience I watched Detective Pikachu with was very chill. We aw‘d together, we gasped when things were tense and so on. So the moment Pikachu comes on the screen, the whole theatre crowd was stunned. Yes, Pikachu is cute. But Ryan Reynolds playing a coffee addicted Pikachu (yes they copied that from the game very well) is even better!
So let’s talk about the Actors in this movie. I have to say, Ryan Reynolds is really great in his reprise as not Deadpool but still classic know-it-all, sharp commenting and pop culture referencing Pikachu. Some of the smaller comments were hilarious so that the whole audience was almost applauding. So that tells you what I (and my co-visitors) thought of the Detective Pikachu!
On the other side is Justice Smith as Tim Goodman. His role is almost equally as good as Pikachu’s. Not that Smith is going a bad job, it’s just that what happens in the story makes him partially annoying and almost a downer. To be fair, that’s mostly in the first half of the movie, because later on, everything comes together in both narration and action points. Smith has been given great jokes to play with and he actually nails what makes Tim Goodman such a whiny yet, of course, relatable character.
Tagging along as third main character of the movie is Kathryn Newton as Lucy Stevens, the young intern that dreams of a career as a reporter and is, of course, the one person that helps Detective Pikachu to further the plot the most. She does a great job of actually leading the group with her wit and her partner Pokemon Psyduck. And what’s even better to my personal taste at least is, that there is no real romance forced upon Tim and Lucy. They both have their goal and after the movie is done, no surprise, they split ways. For now. Although the movie, of course, plays a few jokes in that direction for comedy purposes which are for my viewpoint executed extremely well. Again, the audience loved to laugh a lot and I join them as well in that reaction.
Last but not least some extra cast shout outs! First to Ken Watanabe who is the former detective Partner of Harry Goodman, Tim’s father. Such a charismatic actor placed so well where he is needed in the journey of Tim’s and Pikachu’s adventure. Then Bill Nighy and Chris Geere as father and son duo, in which Bill is the philanthropic character to establish the City in which Pokemon and humans live and work together and Chris playing his role as the son that has to further develop the company and his father’s work with regret and resentment towards his dad. Just a fantastic casting choice especially over the journey of the story. Chris Geere channels his inner Cameron Clarke i.e. Liquid Snake which is always a big plus in my MGS fan heart. One last big casting choice I liked the most was the inclusion of Diplo as fight club DJ and Rita Ora as a scientist lead role. I did not see that coming and was glad to recognize more non actors in such very fitting movies to be included.
The dark side of the PokéMoon
Now let’s talk about what I didn’t like as much. I for one disliked partially how much CGI heavy the movie was. I don’t mean by that that the Pokémon looked bad. They looked alright, eerie of course but that was sort of the goal for some. No what I mean is the heavy use of CGI locations and partially very Ghost In The Shell like city pictures that took me out of the movie in a few scenes. That and the sadly underused movie soundtrack which does a great job of mixing very retro chiptune videogame like music and orchestral sounds together for a great soundtrack. But when I have to look back I sadly can only remember only a few scenes in which the movie soundtrack really was noticeable present and enjoyable. Most of the time it was just background noise. Still, not a bad movie but just I wish for some improvements.
So! Would I still recommend the movie? Absolutely! It’s great adventure for the kids and for adults alike and after some time adjusting to the CG-ness of the movie it’s all just a good time forward. Especially Pikachu and Ryan Reynolds!