By Allison Skornick-Rose
May 08, 2019 02:30 PM EST

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu Theatrical Review

If you are a fan and know the Pokemon world and all its creatures then you will love this movie.
POKÉMON Detective Pikachu Theatrical Review
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If you are a child of the '90s or are the parent of one then you are surely aware of what Pokemon are.  These fictional creatures live in the Pokemon Universe (of course) and have human trainers who catch them and prepare them to battle each other for sport.   Each one has unique powers that they can use when fighting.  This concept with these adorable creatures captured hearts and imaginations making the franchise is one of the highest grossing media franchises of all time with over $90 billion in revenue.  There are video games, trading cards, television shows, books and now, thanks to Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, a feature film.

Tim Goodman (Justice Smith; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) is an ordinary guy - so ordinary in fact that he is an insurance salesman. In his youth, he was a Pokemon trainer though but left all that behind. That is until one day he gets a call from the Rhyme City Police department telling him his estranged father was killed in a car accident. Tim heads to Rhyme City to pack up his father's things and put the past behind him for good. However, when clearing out his dad's apartment he comes face to face with Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds; Deadpool), his father's Pokemon partner, whom he can somehow understand. 

Pikachu has amnesia and needs Tim's help to find out what happened to him and Harry. Reluctantly Tim agrees and the two begin an adventure using clues found in Harry's apartment including a vial full of gas that makes Pokemon go crazy and become aggressive. They soon discover that Harry was on to something and was probably killed for what he knew. They follow the clues to a secluded lab only to find Pokemon that were being experimented on and modified…but by whom? 

When I saw the trailer for this film, it seemed as if Deadpool had been eaten by a small, furry, yellow creature since the voice was obviously the same and the dialogue seemed similar. However, that is not the case here and after a few minutes, you forget you are listening to Reynolds' voice and just focus on the words making this probably one of Reynold's stronger performances. Smith does a pretty good job considering he was probably speaking to a stuffed toy for most of the filming. Kathryn Newton (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) delivers a quirky performance as the media intern who helps Tim investigate his dad's disappearance and Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) is good as the founder of Rhyme City.

Probably the biggest downfall of Pokemon Detective Pikachu is that for me at least, it was very predictable.  The surprises were not a surprise to me and seemed fairly obvious.  However, the graphics are terrific, especially on the Pokemon.  Pikachu is absolutely adorable and I can see stuffed versions becoming one of the hot toys buys for the summer.  The graphic artists did a superb job of creating each strand of fur on his cute yellow coat and explosions and fire are well done as well.

If you are a fan and know the Pokemon world and all its creatures then you will love this movie.  If you are not, you will still enjoy it but you won't necessarily understand some of the inside jokes and Easter eggs are hidden in the film.  The nostalgia factor for kids of the 1990s in itself will bring audiences to theaters but it is going to be interesting to see if Pokemon Detective Pikachu can dethrone the current top box office spot holder…Avengers: Endgame.

Grade: B

 

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MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 104 minutes
Distributed By: Warner Bros.

For more information about POKÉMON Detective Pikachu visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

About Allison Skornick-Rose



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