‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’ movie review: Ryan Reynolds shines as a chubby, yellow, electricity-wielding rodent

Even though Justice Smith is merely average, this is still a great film for diehard trainers and new fans alike

Alejo Rodriguez Lo |

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'Pokemon Detective Pikachu' is a lightning bolt of fun.

The Pokémon franchise is well-known for their spectacular role-playing games, with deep storytelling and stellar gameplay. These games have evolved into many animated TV shows and movies, captivating Pokémon fans of all ages. 

Many fans were worried and pessimistic about the first live-action film, Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Surprisingly, the movie displays great humour and a workable plot that does justice to the Pokémon world.

Set in Ryme City, where Pokémon and humans live in harmony. Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) is told that his detective father has died during one of his investigations. When Tim goes back to his father’s flat, he finds a Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) who claims his father is still alive. They team up and go on an epic adventure to find the truth about what really happened.

The CGI Pokémon in the movie are stunningly-realistic and beautifully rendered. Iconic Pokémon across all eight generations are seen throughout the whole movie, and their behaviour and movement stay true to their video game roots.

Seeing Pidgeottos flying through the sky, police officers accompanied by loyal Growlithes, and Bulbasaurs roaming peacefully in the forest will put a smile on any Pokemon fan’s face. 

The Pokémon’s stereotypical personalities are also played for laughs, such as a sleeping Snorlax which is used as a roadblock, and a normally cheerful Jigglypuff that is angry because its singing has put people to sleep. 

Pikachu is not doing very well in this particular battle.
Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

The most impressive aspect of this film is definitely its humour, and Detective Pikachu is voiced fantastically well by Ryan Reynolds. He really shows off his range by being a perfectly adorable family-friendly Pikachu, a far cry from his hardcore Deadpool persona. The jokes are relatable for viewers of all ages, while also sprinkling in some Pokémon antics for the fans. 

Unfortunately the same cannot be said about Justice Smith, whose acting was sub-par. This might have been due to the audience being spoiled by Reynolds’ excellence, but scenes without the yellow electricity monster were flat and not as engaing.

While Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a great film to watch as a Pokémon fan, it also welcomes newcomers to the vast world of Pokémon. Even if you don’t catch ‘em all, be sure to at least catch this fun and visually-appealing film.

Edited by Jamie Lam

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