Pokémon Detective Pickachu Review (Cinema)

Pikaa, Pi chu pi-ka-chu. Pikachu chuuu pi Chuu!

I have been following Pokémon since they were only known as Pocket Monsters so you might think Detective Pikachu would be great for me but it has quite a few problems.

The film follows the story of the Nintendo 3DS game called Detective Pickachu and both feature a crime solving and talking Pickachu that only Tim Goodman played by Justice Smith can understand.

The only thing I knew about the film was that it starred Ryan Reynolds as Pickachu so I was surprised when I saw Rita Ora, Bill Nighy and Kathryn Newton who looks a lot like Miley Cyrus which I couldn’t shake afterwards. Chris Geere plays Roger Clifford the son of Howard Clifford in such a cheesy way to make it near nauseating. None of the acting is particularly good or convincing in portraying a world and city inhabited by Pokémon. Detective Pickachu could of been voiced by anyone really as Ryan Reynolds characteristics doesn’t come out in the character at all.

The main story involves finding out what happened to Tim’s father, Harry Goodman, is he dead? What is the R gas? and what is up with Mewtwo? It all seems crazy but is pretty tame by Pokémon standards so much that episodes of the anime are more entertaining than what’s shown here and the game did a better job off telling. There is a few twists and turns but none of it is earned as there is no real character development or enough time with the main characters. Even the main duo of Tim and Pickachu isn’t developed enough to make you feel they would actually care about one another or for you to care about them either. When I care more about Psyduck who is a side character than Pickachu who is the main character, then you know something must be wrong.

The visual are serviceable and the sound effects are quite good especially the Pokémon noises but it all looks out of place compared to the real life actors and sets that are a mix between Tokyo, London, and Scotland. The Pokémon also either look weird like melting plastic or just too small as the scale looks wacky and odd. Are Pokémon really smaller than an average dog? Cubone for example is so small that it looks like a rat.

There is at least eight hundred Pokémon currently in the franchise but I counted about maybe thirty different ones in the film. The amount of Squirtles and Growlithes you see in the film seems unreal. If you are able to have any Pokémon why aren’t people being more creative in their picks?

I have tried to keep up with Pokémon but I haven’t played a Pokémon game since Pokémon X and Y or watched a film or episode since at least the year 2000 so maybe the film isn’t for me but if that is the case then who is it for? It is definitely not for non-fans of the franchise as it’s has a such a poor story, and for people who grew up with them aren’t getting enough fan service. It disappoints both audiences.

To it’s credit the film is the correct length and is never boring so you won’t feel like you are wasting your time but the film had so much potential that it’s disappointing watching the end result. The ending is also horrible. For a second you think it’s quite clever and interesting until you realise this is the actual ending and it’s terrible. You can argue that this is the best game to film conversion ever but it doesn’t feel like any other Pokémon game except the one it’s copying, and that game didn’t feel like any other Pokémon game either.

If you have children who like Pokémon then they will likely have a good time watching Pokémon Detective Pikachu. However Disney and Pixar have made tons of better children films that are more enjoyable for kids and adults that it makes this film feel like a Magikarp, lame and useless. However if they can evolve that Magikarp into a bitting Gyarados for a sequel then it could be a great new series of Pokémon films.


Pokémon Detective Pikachu Official Trailer #1.

Anyway I got a Pikachu with a deerstalker hat now so that’s something I suppose.

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