(This is Pokémon Detective Pikachu film review, which is a film based on the popular game series but with original plot and characters)
Pokémon has actually appeared on the silver screens since decades ago, starting from Pokémon: The First Movie. Now, 21 years later, we are presented with the first live action entry in the series with Detective Pikachu!
As with any of Hollywood’s adaptations with anime materials from Japan, this film has many controversies and also polarised viewers worldwide. However, it has some well-known casts such as Ryan Reynold and Bill Nighy, as well as directed by Rob Letterman(who directed Shark Tale).
Without further ado, let’s delve into the Pokémon Detective Pikachu film review below to check it out!
When a young insurance agent, Tim, learns of his detective father’s death, he sets off to collect his dad’s assets. There, he meets an intern journalist who is suspicious of his father’s death. And he also meets a talking Pikachu upon inhaling a mysterious chemical. Could he ever find out the real truth behind everything?
Pokémon Detective Pikachu Film Review
Man, premise wise, this film is really meant for the younger generation. There is no any twists or dark stories behind at all. In fact, everything looks just like any potential episode from a Pokemon movie or episode. Except there is no Team Rocket…
Anyway, the premise is very simple. So we have Tim who has to partner up with an amnesia-stricken Pikachu that can talk only to him. And they set off the journey to find his dad. Things go fast from there as we are brought along a pretty straight ride till we meet the antagonist. Along the way, things happen in a sequential predictable order, and the main characters actually do not solve any crimes but just found the answer that appeared somehow somewhere
So, in a sense, unless you are a kid that is targeted by this film as an audience, you will feel that thing seem too simple, naive and slightly boring.
Pacing wise, it actually moves pretty fast, thankfully. But it also has an uneven paced moments in the middle portion, where the film can’t decide whether to slow down for emotional moment or just rush through. Though I have to praise that the opening is pretty cool and induce nostalgia as the films takes it slow in introducing the Pokémon universe to us.
Animation wise is, oh boy, perhaps one of the best adaptations I have seen from an anime/game series. The Pokémon designs are given more realistic looks, but still manage to retain the original appearance. So it does not feel like the recent Sonic design, where we reach the Silicon valley level.
In fact, I did not think that Pikachu could fit Ryan Reynold’s voice so much!
Here, the Pokémons are still cute and behave as per what we have seen in the anime and the games. A greater applause has to be reserved for the Detective Pikachu, where his facial expressions and body movements help with conveying us his personality. In fact, I did not think that Pikachu could fit Ryan Reynold’s voice so much!
Alright, it’s time to spill the beans. The characters are NOT the saving grace for this film…except for Pikachu…and maybe Psyduck. Honestly, Tim and the intern girl, Lucy, are pretty shallow characters. Neither of them have many decent characters growth along the film. And to be fair, without Pikachu there, this film would have looked like any other random indie films that are not as good.
Even the antagonist is a weak man both figuratively and physically
Tim undergoes too much changes from just a few minutes of event developments, while Lucy does not seem to play a very important role at all aside from being the supporting character. Even the antagonist is a weak man both figuratively and physically. And his reason for doing his evil deed is also nonsensical that probably only kids would accept and understand.
All in all, do not expect to put much hope into them. But Pikachu is the special case, he is the star of the film and helps to make this film at least more tolerable and likeable. And thank Psyduck too for the comical relief!
Soundtrack is yet another saving grace of the film as they reuse as much of the anime’s theme songs and the game’s soundtracks. Every few minutes and some of the tones played will induce nostalgia as it makes you remember those moments with your Gameboys. Aside from that, nothing else could be commented much here.