Pokémon Detective Pikachu for Die-Hard Fans

(L-R) JUSTICE SMITH as Tim Goodman, Detective Pikachu (RYAN REYNOLDS) and KATRHYN NEWTON as Lucy Stevens in Legendary Pictures' and Warner Bros. Pictures' comedy adventure "POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a film that will most likely appeal to fans of Ryan Reynolds or Pokémon but there’s not much else otherwise.

When Ryme City police detective Harry Goodman goes missing, his son, Tim (Justice Smith), decides to look into his disappearance.  He’s soon finds Harry’s Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds), lending a helping hand in the investigation.  Pikachu’s vibe is Deadpool-esque but it’s toned down for a younger audience.  There’s quite a few things here that don’t really add up early on.  How did Pikachu get his amnesia and why is it that only Tim can hear him?

Tim isn’t the only one working the case.  CNM journalist intern Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) also has questions.  Soon, the two of them are working together.  This brings some great interplay between Pikachu and Psyduck.  The latter of which is basically here only for the comic relief.  It’s a mysterious adventure that takes them all over the city.  There comes a point in which you realize that they’re in over their head.

I never collected Pokémon while growing up or even during the recent smartphone craze.  I found the film to be mostly okay.  It does need to be stressed that this isn’t really a universe in which I’m familiar.  For the die-hard fans, chances are likely that you’ll appreciate it more.  Ryan Reynolds does his best but one person alone does not make a film.  If you’re expecting a smaller version of Deadpool here, don’t think about it.  Pikachu is not the Merc with a Mouth.  It’s not R-rated and there’s no breaking the fourth wall here.  But again, I wasn’t expecting this film to be Deadpool.  For one, the universe couldn’t be more different.

I have some questions about the third act.  Because of spoiler reasons, I’m not in a position to discuss them here.  After you see the film, we can discuss it.

As far as the Pokémon world goes, we get to experience their powers and unique personalities.  Marvel’s Groot would fit in nicely with his “I am Groot” catchphrase.  In some instances, the behavior does get old after a while.  Take Psyduck for example.  It’s cute but after a while, you want to have a stress explosion of your own.  Also, why in the world would a journalist of all people take Psyduck on as their Pokémon?  Maybe this question is best left unanswered?

Ultimately, Pokémon Detective Pikachu will appeal to the die-hard fans more so than the average film-goer.

DIRECTOR:  Rob Letterman
SCREENWRITERS:  Dan Hernandez & Benji Samit and Rob Letterman and Derek Connolly
CAST:  Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, Rita Ora, with Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy

Warner Bros. Pictures opens Pokémon Detective Pikachu in theaters on May 10, 2019. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.