When I originally saw the trailer for Detective Pikachu, I wasn’t entirely sure how to feel. My gut instinct? No, please don’t make Pikachu speak. And then I watched it again, and again, and again, and it never did grow on me. The thought of a Pokémon “live action world” sounded like manipulating so many awesome childhood memories in ways that, to be quite honest, I didn’t want. But here we are, summer of 2019, and Pikachu speaks; and he sounds a lot like Ryan Reynolds.
This film tells the story of Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) as he partners with the most unlikely of partners, (you guessed it) Pikachu in solving the mystery of his father’s recent disappearance. Now, as I said in the open, I was not a proponent of Pikachu talking whatsoever. But I’ll come right out and say it, what Ryan Reynolds was able to do in this “role” was some of the best entertainment you might see in a children’s movie. But why? Well, have you ever wondered what Deadpool might sound/act like if he entered a kid’s movie but kept the same level of sly satire? If so, you’ve bagged yourself Detective Pikachu.
Now, this isn’t to say that Reynolds and the furry yellow guy were enough to carry the entire film; because they couldn’t quite do it alone. What boosts this one so far along for me is simple- Pikachu was one of the most beautiful trips down memory lane I’ve had since Toy Story 3. The relatability you’re able to feel to Tim, struggling to “pick” his first (or only) Pokémon. Witnessing Pokémon you’ve been familiar with from the first generation, all the way up to current. Being able to see this largely imaginary, yet beautiful world brought to the big screen was simply not the distaste I thought it’d be. It was beautiful, it was cheeky, and yet by no means was it without its flaws. Detective Pikachu delivers on being a massive train ride of nostalgia, suited only in my opinion for those who grew up adoring this franchise.
While the plot does get largely chaotic in its final act, the “fun factor” stays with you all the while. Is this an introduction to more in this same “genre” of Pokémon films? Honestly, I personally don’t think I’d mind at all. For its charm, Reynolds’ wit and a beautiful world-build, Detective Pikachu lands a 7.5/10 from me. Thanks a ton for reading. As always,