“Pokémon Detective Pikachu has no business being this enjoyable. It is funny, quick, and delivers a B level story that fits in the strange world it has created.”
Pokémon Detective Pikachu is better than it has any right to be. I’ll admit when this movie was first announced my cynical brain immediately wrote it off as a failed experiment that will bomb at the box office. I assume it would try too hard and take itself way too seriously. Then the first trailer came out and it was announced Ryan Reynolds would be voicing Pikachu and I was intrigued. Reynolds is essentially doing a PG version of Deadpool with Pikachu and I won’t lie, I kind of loved it. Instead of being a serious, self-righteous money grab by a studio desperate for a franchise, it turned out to be a light, fun, and truly enjoyable money grab that is no doubt the start of a franchise.
The movie follows Tim Goodman (I know, I rolled me eyes too) who gave up on being a Pokémon trainer as a child and works in insurance. When his father passes away he returns to the city to handle his father’s affairs and meets Pikachu who is the only Pokémon that can say more than his name and of course Tim is the only one who can understand him. Pikachu is convinced Tim’s father isn’t dead and it was all staged. They team up to uncover the mystery. This Pokémon story isn’t about the Pokémon battles and gyms that the games/cards have made famous but is a pretty straightforward mystery spoof. There is still plenty of action and Pokémon powers but this is not a fighting movie.
I am a child of the original Pokémon Gameboy games and the card game. I don’t think people remember how big it was in the mid-90s but I know my entire middle school ate it up for at least 2 full years. Prior to this movie trailer I hadn’t even thought of Pokémon much at all outside of seeing something at the mall but during the movie I was able to remember the names of the Pokémon way too easily which means somewhere in my brain is a dormant Pokedex just waiting for a Ryan Reynolds joint to come out. What struck me most is how enjoyable the animation of the Pokémon was. Unlike Garfield or the latest Sonic trailer the Pokémon (while clearly fake) fit in the World. The action sequences zip along quite nicely and it was cool to see a full grown Charizard breathing fire.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu has no business being this enjoyable. It is funny, quick, and delivers a B level story that fits in the strange world it has created. The fact that Ryan Reynolds‘ voice can give a movie like this the swagger it has is worth the admission alone. In a world of endless children’s movies in my life, it is always nice when one comes along that the entire family can enjoy and Pokémon Detective Pikachu fits the bill.