Pokémon Detective Pikachu review

Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
PG | 1h 44min | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 10 May 2019 (USA)

Grade: C+

Synopsis: When ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, his 21-year-old son Tim seeks to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself.

Review: Fans of the Pokemon world will find far more in this movie to gravitate to than the clueless sect. The plot of Pokémon Detective Pikachu isn’t hard to follow for the novice but knowing all the characters and their abilities would add more I am sure. The main issue both sides will have is trying to figure out what sort of film this wants to be. Is it for kids? Fans? Adults? It tries to please everyone which I think was a mistake.

Tim (Justice Smith) gets news of his estranged father’s death and then goes to Ryme City to collect his dad’s things. While there he discovers that his father may actually be alive and with the help of Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) and a savvy journalist (Kathryn Newton) they set out to solve the mystery. This leads them to Pokemon battles, strange scientific experiments, and lots of interesting characters.

Being kid friendly is not a plus or minus for this one. The rating and content lead you to think it is for the whole family, and other than a couple of very mild expletives and a few intense moments, it is. At times it wants to be fun and cute then other times it wants to be aa bit more dramatic. As I mentioned before it wants to be al things to all people. I personally would rather have it be PG-13 and allow the core audience to get more meat on the bone. What they offer the PG crowd isn’t a lot.

There is a 3D and 2D version. I saw it in 2D and noticed several scenes that were intended for 3D. The green screen was obvious and the picture was fuzzy and lacked clarity. It was almost as if some scenes were shot with a completely different format and then pieced together. That alone takes you out of the moment in what was one of the cooler action segments of the film.

Pikachu too was a miss using Ryan Reynolds. I am a huge fan of Ryan but he is oversaturated now and to be honest having a cute Pikachu with Deadpool’s voice was a problem for me. I would rather him be voiced by a non-recognizable entity. But I get why they did it. I am also in the camp of Smith who I really liked in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. There he was quirky, funny, and the perfect nerd. Here he seemed bored and out of place. I understand that his character is unhappy and searching for answers. But the delivery was monotone and hard to engage with. He is a much better actor than what we got in this one.

Bottom line Pokémon Detective Pikachu may be a better renter than the big screen option; especially if they fix that 2D problem. Again it is rated PG so if you just want to get the kids out of the house for a while you could do worse. But go in low and it might Pika Pika your interest.