Pokémon Detective Pikachu

In a world where Pokémon coexist with humans, Tim (Justice Smith) teams up with Pikachu to solve the mystery about his father’s disappearance.

The Highs
The Pokémon in this film look fantastic. It was such an immense joy to see my childhood realized on screen, and Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a nostalgia trip of the highest order. Almost all of the CGI is incredibly well done, and the Pokémon look exactly how I would imagine them to look in a real world. It was so cool to see two of my favorites – Charizard and Gyarados – vibrantly depicted.

Along with the Pokémon, this film just made me want to live in the world more than anything. The world is so beautifully crafted, and the Pokémon mesh so well with their human counterparts. Everything was organic and believable, drawing the audience into this fantasy space where “real” jobs like insurance are laughed at, and the dream of becoming a Pokémon trainer is something to aspire to.

I enjoyed most of the plot in Pokémon Detective Pikachu. It was great to see Mewtwo as a central antagonist, and the plot twists were also executed very well. There were a few reveals that genuinely surprised me.

The Lows
I really disliked the final twist of the film, where it is revealed that Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy) is using Mewtwo to combine the bodies of Pokémon with the souls of people. I haven’t stayed up to date with the current Pokémon lore, but this seemed like a stretch to me. I know that Mewtwo is incredibly powerful, but it seemed like this ability was contrived simply for the plot of the film.

On that topic, it’s strange and frustrating that Mewtwo is the worst looking of all of the Pokémon in the entire film. I was disappointed from the beginning, and I felt that Mewtwo’s CGI got even worse later on.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu suffers any time that Ryan Reynolds isn’t speaking. The script is mediocre at best, and at times pretty bad. This is compounded by the fact that both Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton give lackluster performances. Overacting and awkward line delivery plague the entirety of the film.

Final Thoughts
Pokémon Detective Pikachu entertains and immerses the audience in the colorful world of Pokémon, making for a nostalgic and beautiful film that is fun for Pokémon fans old and new alike.

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