POKÉMON Detective Pikachu: The Very Best, Like No Game Adaptation Ever Was...

2019 has been a big year for comic and game-based films. We got Avengers Endgame, captain marvel, Sonic is on the way, but one I’ve been excited for has been detective Pikachu. Pokémon has been a personal favourite for a long time now and a photo realistic, live action film isn’t something I ever imagined growing up. With something like this, it came with scepticism and fear of turning a franchised loved by many into a flop.

I have been pleasantly proven wrong. Detective Pikachu brought the Pokémon world to life in a visually stunning way without being too over the top with CGI. 
Detective Pikachu takes place in Ryme city. A city founded on the idea that humans and Pokémon would live in harmony where many cities around the world still participate in Pokémon battles (a now illegal activity in Ryme City). 

We kick off with Tim Goodman, an insurance sales man, out with his friend Jack. It’s through this that we learn Tim has lost the love of Pokémon that he had in his childhood. His mother died at a young age and his father moved to Ryme City and focused most of his attention on his work, hoping Tim would follow in his footsteps and move with him. 

When Tim is alerted of his father’s death, he travels to Ryme City to say goodbye. The shots of Ryme City are great. Blending London city with VFX creates a real futuristic hybrid feel keeping it true to the source material but adapting to a global audience. Tim is exposed very early on to Kathryn Newton’s character, Lucy, a driven and enthusiastic unpaid intern at a large media and news company. Justice and Catherine bounce off each other really well with their big personalities and comedic timing. 

Pikachu has always been the face of Pokémon and giving this loveable little creature the voice of the brilliant Ryan Reynolds seemed like a strange decision when announced. This is what first piqued my scepticism as I was expecting Deadpool meets Pokémon. After watching, I couldn’t imagine any other actor providing the voice. The delivery of lines was superb and throughout, I found it really easy to switch off to the fact that this is Pikachu was a digital creation. This makes it all the more impressive, thinking about the effort in filming the emotional scenes when Justice would have had to act his lines alone and respond to something that isn’t there. 

Now unfortunately some things do let this film down. Without going into too much detail, I didn’t feel that the motives for a couple of characters were very well explained. I appreciate the story is going to have to cater to a broad audience as the franchise does have a variety of fans. However, I think the story itself (or at least the bigger plot reveals) could have played out a bit better. 

Overall, I really loved this film. One of my favourite things about this was seeing some of my personal favourite Pokémon in all their photo realistic glory like Gengar, Gyrados and Mewtwo. I also appreciate that they really took the time to add in many of the lesser known Pokémon. They added many Pokémon into situations that fit their types and gave them scenarios you’d expect if they really did exist. For example, watching Octillery work at a Sushi stand and Loudred being used as speakers in night clubs, which really had me laughing. 

Detective Pikachu has a lot of charm and is an easy family watch with something for all generations. It has nods to the long-term fans and things to bring in the younger generations. I’d love to see what they could do with more films, exploring the world of this phenomenon.

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu hits UK cinemas May 10th 2019

Until next time

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