Review: Pokémon Detective Pikachu


Detective Pikachu Is On The Case!

When the first trailer for Detective Pikachu dropped, I was left speechless. Not because a live action Pokémon movie was made, but rather because of the CGI. It wasn’t bad by any means—I personally liked the realism in all the Pokémon, but that ones the thing. While there was a few that look really cute or cool just like their anime or video game designs, some of them look really creepy, but not in any terrible way or anything—but rather in a good way, giving us a good representation of what they would look in real life.

Detective Pikachu is based on the Nintendo 3DS video game which released in 2018, which I was hoping it wasn’t since the story itself in the game is somewhat recycled with the concept of “evil substances makes people evil and stronger and it must be stopped.”  While It was done better in the game (from what I was told about the game’s plot), the movie’s iteration was pretty average.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Studio: Legendary Pictures
Licensed By: Warner Bros.
Released: May 10th, 2019 (NA)

The movie takes places in Ryme City, a metropolis populated with humans and their Pokémon partners. We are introduced to 21-year-old former Pokémon trainer named Tim Goodman who meets a talking Pikachu that once belonged to his father, Harry Goodman, who went missing after an accident. Tim and the talking Pikachu, who calls himself "Detective Pikachu", investigate to find his whereabouts with the help of a reporter, Lucy Stevens, and her Psyduck, until they encounter a miracle drug called “R” that endangers the Pokémon world.

Being a kid’s franchise for the most part, there’s not much to expect. It was meant to have a generic and predictable plotline, but it doesn’t really holdback the movie too much. The ending did catch me a bit off guard, though. What carried the movie for me was the visuals and the performances, especially Ryan Reynolds’ as Pikachu. Every shot in the movie was good to look at, especially the luminous city, and the CGI for each Pokémon ended up looking pretty awesome. Some of my personal favorites were Gyrados, Greninja, and Gengar, which looked pretty realistic. 

Ryan Reynolds’ performance was phenomenal, from start to finish. He’s truly is a gem in this industry. Despite it only being his voice, he was really charismatic that gave Detective Pikachu so much life. It was an entertaining performance all the way. You have to give credit to the other actors too such as Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton as they had good chemistry with each other. 

The movie used a lot of the original soundtrack from the games and the anime, at least in the original English voice over. It really put a smile on my face the moment the original Pokémon theme started playing. A lot of the original soundtrack is a bit forgettable but I somewhat remember liking it nevertheless, or rather it was fitting. 

Overall, it was a very fun and enjoyable movie. While It being “Pokémon” doesn’t fully liberate it from its fault, again it’s a kids movie—no one was expecting the plot to be original and complex. The movie is carried by everything else such as the CGI, how everything was shot, music score, and the actors’ performances—I really laughed a lot. I would definitely recommend the movie.

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Pokémon Detective Pikachu reviewed by Christian Chiok



Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
How we score:  The Japanator reviews guide


Christian Chiok
Christian ChiokContributor   gamer profile

Christian has been a gamer since his early childhood. He's a big fan of the King of Fighters and the Metal Slug series. Additionally, Christian enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching anime ... more + disclosures



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