[MOVIE REVIEW] Pokemon universe brought new life in Pokemon: Detective Pikachu


Claire Kim, MS RubiMini

The Pokemon universe was brought new life in Pokemon movie; Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. The film was released May 10, and was produced by Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment, and Toho Co., Ltd.. The budget for the movie was $150 Million and box office was $170.5 million. Rob Letterman directed the film and the writers included Rob Letterman, Nicole Perlman, and Derek Connolly. Anyone who enjoys the Pokemon franchise will enjoy seeing this film. The movie is packed with action and surprises, along with a well timed plot twist.

The plot centers around the journey of Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) and his relationship with Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds). Tim is informed of his father’s death at the beginning of the movie and starts off with a rather somber tone. Tim travels to Ryme City where his father lived and works to investigate his death and gather his things from his apartment. Once he reaches Rhyme City, Tim encounters a talking Pikachu and the mood of the film shifts from somber to comedic. Tim embarks on an epic journey to seek the truth surrounding his father’s death, and he ends up exploring his relationship with his father and his connection with Pokemon. The animation was innovative; there was a spectrum of different compositions of animation and live action throughout the movie which made for a provocative look.

Fans of Pokemon video games will enjoy the film’s connections to the game.”

Ryan Reynolds does an excellent job voicing Pikachu and brings the character to life with well delivered comedic lines. Justice Smith, who played the protagonist, Tim, also does a good job subtly cultivating his character. Kathryn Newton, who played Tim’s love interest Lucy Stevens, does a good job developing her character throughout the film, and, for the most part, the other actors support this.

Fans of Pokemon video games will enjoy the film’s connections to the game. The dialogue, for example, is reminiscent of the Pokemon DS games. The animation evokes those Pokemon games but with a more realistic take. The plot twist felt unexpected and very well timed. The pace of the film was engaging but at points was too fast for some ideas to be fully explored.

The film offers a lighthearted adventure story about Tim and Pikachu’s detective search for the truth and their bonding along the way. Their plot-line is complimented by the more serious story of Tim’s relationship with his father. The combination of the two tones makes for a well rounded plot, suitable for a wide range of audiences.

Detective Pikachu is rated  PG, and offers two hours to see Pokemon in a live action animation combination with interesting dialogue between two multi-dimensional characters. 

Final Rating: 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐